James (Jamie) Yoos, science teacher at Bellingham High School, is one of four teachers from Washington state selected as finalists for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST). The finalists were selected by a statewide selection committee comprised of content area experts and award-winning teachers and their application has been sent forward to the national selection process.
Yoos teaches Advanced Placement (AP) and Quantitative Chemistry, and the Introduction to Sports Medicine/Applied Anatomy and Physiology. He has taught in Bellingham Public Schools for 13 years. In 2009, he won the Washington State Teacher of the Year Award. Prior to teaching in Bellingham, Yoos worked at Skyline High School in Issaquah, Wash., Brighton High School in Rochester, New York, and the Outdoor Education Center for Houston Public Schools in Houston, Texas.
Admired by students and colleagues alike, Yoos is a ‘district and state leader in science education,’ according to Bellingham High School principal Linda Miller. “We are so proud of Jamie’s accomplishments and the tremendous impact he has made on our students and staff.”
Former BHS principal and current assistant superintendent Steve Clarke believes Jamie is one of the finest educators he has ever met. “Jamie’s ability to connect with students and bring his “A” game every single day is truly inspiring and makes his teaching nothing short of amazing,” Clarke says.
Reflecting on his teaching career, Yoos writes: “We ask our students daily to stretch themselves and step outside their comfort zones. The process of learning often involves feeling uneasy, uncertain, and occasionally exposes our insecurities. Allowing these feelings to be normal and expected is a part of the experience of becoming a learner. I, too, feel the need to stretch in my own practice and push my comfort zone for growth. Teaching has provided me the opportunity to face these feelings daily with my students, both as a teacher and a learner. I cannot imagine a more worthwhile use of my time.”
“I’m honored to have been selected as a finalist for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching (PAEMST).”
Yoos joins Beth Andres of Ferndale School District, Michelle Chamberlain of Sumner School District and Georg Christoph of North Thurston Public Schools in this statewide honor.
“Each and every one of us has been impacted by an educator in our lifetime,” said State Superintendent Chris Reykdal. “It’s teachers like Beth, George, Michelle, and James that lead by exceptional example and hold Washington’s teachers to the highest possible standard. We’re incredibly proud to send these four innovative teachers on to the national program as Washington’s state finalists.”
State finalists receive a complimentary annual membership to their professional organization and scholarship registration to an upcoming annual conference. They are also invited to the annual Governor’s Reception in June 2018.
The national PAEMST program typically announces national award recipients in the spring; the selection and announcement depends on the White House schedule.