William Floyd HS science teacher is a finalist for prestigious Presidential Award


An Advanced Placement chemistry teacher at William Floyd High School is one of just five New York state finalists for the 2021 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) for grades seven through 12, the district said.

Kristen Drury is the only science teacher from Long Island who is among the finalists. She has taught in William Floyd schools for 16 years.

“It’s very exciting to be a finalist for this award because very few teachers are recognized nationally and it came during a very challenging year,” said Ms. Drury, already an accomplished and award-winning educator.

“Even through the challenges that faced us this year, I was able to modify my instruction to better suit my students during the pandemic, and then record and reflect on my work and lesson execution, as well as my teaching philosophies in order to complete the award process,” she added.

The PAEMST award is the highest recognition that a high school or secondary school science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and/or computer science teacher can receive in the United States. Up to 108 teachers are recognized each year.

William Floyd schools Superintendent Kevin M. Coster explained what an asset Drury has been to her students, colleagues and entire school district community.

“Ms. Drury is an amazing teacher who always provides the most innovative techniques to her classroom,” Coster said. “She is a highly respected science educator who has been recognized numerous times for her hard work and dedication, and is often called upon for her expertise.”

Drury has collected an array of impressive teaching honors. Here are some of them:

• Selected among the first group of New York State Master Teachers in 2014, she now serves as a New York State Master Teacher Emeritus.
2016 Empire State Excellence in Teaching Award.
2018 American Association of Chemistry Teachers (AACT) “High School Chemistry Teacher of the Year.”
• SCOPE Education Services Teacher Award.
POGIL (Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning) Early Achievement Award in 2019.
• “Outstanding Educator” by the William Floyd Alumni Association in 2019.
Stony Brook University “40 Under Forty” award in 2020 for demonstrating excellence and exemplifying the “Spirit of Stony Brook,” her alma mater.

Presidential Awardees receive a certificate signed by the President of the United States, a trip to Washington D.C. to attend a series of recognition events and professional development opportunities, and a $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation.