Juniata Valley Elementary School teacher receives Presidential Math and Science Award

HUNTINGDON COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) – Kristen Joivell has been teaching kindergarten for more than 20 years at Juniata Valley Elementary School. Last week, she was announced as one of 117 teachers across the country to receive the Presidential Mathematics and Science Award.

“This award is the highest honor math and science teachers can receive,” Joivell said. “It is provided by the White House and funded by the National Science Foundation.”

Joivell loves to teach and his goal is to show students that the world is amazing and that it can be a lot of fun.

“I think receiving this award is a strong affirmation of the primary goal I have been trying to achieve for 20 years as an educator which is to inspire and educate young people so that each of them is able to access, discover and make sense of the wonders of the world around them.

One of Joevell’s colleagues at Penn State nominated her for the award, and then she had to submit a video recording of a lesson she taught.

“We recorded raw footage from a science lesson I taught here in the classroom about floating and sinking where they were solving problems.”

Juniata Valley Elementary principal Lisa Koble says having a teacher like Joivell has greatly improved the science philosophy in the district.

“She brought many programs to our school,” Principal Koble said. “She hosts an annual science fair, she hosts an annual science night, she assists the steering committee, and we also have a major partnership with Shaker’s Creek this year which has also brought some exciting new science to the district.”

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