Filipino teacher from Hawaii recognized with a presidential award

HONOLULU, HI — Four Hawaii public school teachers were recently awarded with one of the nation’s most prestigious honors for teachers: the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching, or PAEMST.

One of them is a Filipino AP biology teacher.

We’re here at Mililani High School to speak with Dr. Nel Venzon.

Now, Dr. Venzon was recently in Washington D.C. to receive the presidential award of excellence for mathematics and science teaching.

He may be one of the only few Filipinos who have receives d this distinction.

The PAEMST, which was established in 1983, is the highest award given by the U.S. government to kindergarten through 12th-grade teachers of mathematics and science.

Dr. Nel Venzon has been a math and science teacher for 14 years. His students conduct authentic scientific research, focused on a wide range of community issues.

“I got into teaching because first of all, I’m always curious about science, and teaching is a profession that I can explore that aspect, the curiosity of what happens in the world. And at the same time, I can also make a difference in people’s lives.”

His students have presented their research to the district, state, regional, national and international levels.

For Venzon, getting this prestigious award means so much more than his work inside the classroom.

“It’s a symbolism for things such as empowering the youth. That if a Filipino immigrant has achieved that award or has earned that award, I think we can also make it possible for Filipino youth to think, it doesn’t matter whether I’m a Filipino immigrant or not, anything’s possible if you put your mind and hard work to it.”

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