Jupiter physics teacher wins prestigious PAEMST Award 

Every year, one math teacher and one science teacher are selected in each state to be awarded the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. This year, the coveted award was presented to Jupiter High School physics teacher Lorraine Plageman. 

The award program started in 1983 to recognize outstanding math and science teachers. Plageman was nominated by a fellow colleague and had to go through the process of completing paperwork and submitting a recording of her teaching a class. 

Plageman began teaching at JHS 31 years ago after being a teacher’s assistant at Florida International University in Miami. She realized she had a real knack for explaining lessons to students. Plageman graduated from FIU with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. 

“After I became a mother, I realized teaching was a way to share my distinctive ability with others while spending more time with children,” Plageman said. “Teaching allows you to give others experiences that have the potential to shape their lives. They, in turn, contribute to society; it’s a ripple or domino effect.”

Plageman described her experience in Washington, DC, detailing the different people she encountered and the different events she participated in.

“They had a lot of activities for us; it was non-stop. The experience was amazing because I met a lot of other teachers that were very committed educators, and it is just very interesting to meet different teachers from all the U.S. Territories,” Plageman said.

The award’s ceremony at the White House welcomed teachers from all over the world to be recognized for their hard work.

“There were people from Guam, teachers from military bases, the Department of Defense and Germany, people from every state and Hawaii, ” Plageman said.

Plageman’s students were proud of her well-deserved honor. 

“I think she really deserves the award because not only does she teach but she cares whether or not the students understand what their learning and she wants to help the students. She’s really kind in that way,” junior Andrew Galla said.