Winning the Presidential Award is a tremendous accomplishment; one that I am proud to bring to a small, rural school in southern Illinois. It shows that anything can happen with the right combination of knowledge, support, and, most importantly, passion. Having a positive attitude, grit, a determination to succeed, and being strategic with the way you approach situations, especially tough or challenging situations, makes all the difference and that's exactly what PAEMST stands for.

Brandy Hempen Germantown, IL | K-6, Mathematics, 2020

The official biography below was current at the time of the award.

Dr. Brandy Hempen is a course instructor of educational technology and leadership at the Teachers College at Western Governors University. Prior to teaching at the collegiate level, throughout her 10 years in education, Dr. Hempen served as a third grade self-contained teacher, fifth grade mathematics and English language arts (ELA) teacher, seventh and eighth grade ELA teacher, and kindergarten through eighth grade curriculum coordinator and instructional coach at Germantown Elementary School District 60 in southern Illinois. Dr. Hempen's passion for education extends beyond the four classroom walls as she leads conferences big and small on a variety of educational topics specializing in 21st century teaching of mathematics. In 2018, Dr. Hempen was one of 27 worldwide selected to serve as an Emerging Leader in Education for the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development organization. Additionally, in her early years of teaching, she was selected as an Early Career Educator by the Illinois State Board of Education. Dr. Hempen has a bachelor's degree in elementary education, a master's degree in curriculum and instruction with a concentration in differentiated instruction, and a doctorate degree in educational technology and leadership. In 2020, while teaching fifth grade mathematics at Germantown Elementary School District 60, she was named an Illinois State Finalist for the PAEMST award in mathematics.

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