Autumn Rivera ’04, MAT ’05 a Finalist for Science and Math Teachers Award

Autumn Rivera’s exemplary teaching has garnered her nominations for several prestigious teaching awards. She was named one of Colorado’s state finalists for the 2021-22 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching, the nation’s highest award for science and mathematics teachers. Last year, the Colorado Education Association named Rivera the 2022 Colorado Teacher of the Year, which automatically put her in the running as a finalist for National Teacher of the Year.

Rivera earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from Colorado College in 2004 and a Master’s of Arts in Teaching (MAT) degree from CC in 2005. Rivera is a science teacher at Glenwood Springs Middle School in Colorado’s Roaring Fork School District and an adjunct professor in Colorado Mountain College’s education department.

Established by Congress in 1983, PAEMST are the highest honors bestowed by the U.S. government for K-12 science, technology, engineering, mathematics (STEM), and computer science teachers. Nominees complete a rigorous application process that allows them to demonstrate deep content knowledge and their ability to adapt to a broad range of learners and teaching environments. A national selection committee convened by the National Science Foundation reviews the applications. Each year, the award criteria alternate years between kindergarten through sixth-grade teachers and seventh through 12th-grade teachers.

These awards honor the dedication, hard work, and essential role that America’s teachers and mentors play in supporting learners who will be future STEM professionals, including climate scientists, mathematicians, innovators, space explorers, and engineers. Awardees receive a certificate signed by the U.S. President, a $10,000 award from NSF, and an all-expenses-paid trip for an award ceremony and professional learning and networking opportunities in Washington, D.C.

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