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LSMS teacher state finalist for PAEMST award
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S.C. State Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman (right) recognizes Leslie Stover Middle School 8th Grade math teacher Linda Branham as a state finalist for the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. (Photo provided)

The S.C. State Board of Education recognized Leslie Stover Middle School (LSMS) 8th Grade math teacher Linda Branham this month for being one of six state finalists for the prestigious Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST).

Two of the six state finalists will be selected to receive the PAEMST award, the highest honor bestowed by the United States government specifically for K-12 mathematics and science teaching.

“Mrs. Branham is simply a natural in the classroom,” LSMS Assistant Principal Casey Faulkenberry said.  “From the time students enter her room and until they leave, there is engaging instruction taking place, as she is a master at using a variety of strategies to reach various students’ interests and needs. Most importantly, Mrs. Branham clearly has a great rapport with her students and a classroom environment that is welcoming.”

Established by Congress in 1983, the PAEMST award recognizes teachers who have both deep content knowledge of the subjects they teach and the ability to motivate and enable students to be successful in those areas. Each awardee receives a certificate signed by the President of the United States and a $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation.

Pine Tree Hill Elementary School (PTHS) Principal Melissa Royalty nominated Branham for the award. Branham taught at PTHS in 2017-18 before moving to Stover this school year.

A graduate of Lugoff-Elgin High School, Branham has a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from the University of South Carolina-Upstate, a master’s degree in the teaching of mathematics from Walden University, and is pursuing a doctorate in organizational leadership with an emphasis in K-12 education from Grand Canyon University. She has 13 years’ teaching experience and is national board certified.