SAE International Honors Three Teachers for Excellence in Education

Awards Recognize Teachers Who Develop and Implement Innovative and Effective STEM Learning Strategies in the Classroom

WARRENDALE, Pa. (September 22, 2020) – SAE International announced today that it has honored three teachers with the 2020 Gary Dickinson Award for Teaching Excellence and Lloyd Reuss Award for Teaching Excellence. These two awards celebrate the successes of outstanding elementary and middle school teachers who have made creative and exemplary use of SAE International’s STEM program, A Word In Motion® (AWIM), to further develop students’ understanding and experience in math, science and engineering.

“SAE International is thrilled to recognize teachers who have gone above in beyond in their commitment to inspiring students and preparing them to succeed in their future education,” said Chris Ciuca, vice president of programs at SAE International. “We are grateful to all of our amazing teachers and volunteers across the country who are dedicated to providing hands-on learning experience offered through our AWIM program that couldn’t be possible otherwise.”

The 2020 Gary Dickinson Award for Teaching Excellence Honorees are:

  • Stephanie Budzban sixth grade math & science teacher, Country Place Leadership Academy, Tolleson, Arizona
    Specializing in math and science, Budzban has taught sixth grade for 20 years. She is passionate about teaching and providing hands-on learning opportunities for her students. She has chosen to work in Title 1 schools her entire career, believing that a person’s address should not dictate the quality of education one receives. Her honors include being spotlighted as Teacher of the Week in the local newspaper, as well as receiving the PRIDE Award and Teacher of the Year from her school.

  • Pam Walch, fourth grade teacher, Bloomfield Hills School, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
    For more than 31 years, Walch has taught from kindergarten through fifth grade. She spent most of her career in the early elementary grades with 10 years in second grade and 13 years teaching kindergarten. Additionally, she spent several years in a multi-age classroom co-teaching a large group of first, second and third grade students with another teacher. The students stayed with Walch for multiple years as they moved through the curriculum at all three grade levels.   

The 2020 Lloyd Reuss Award for Teaching Excellence Honoree is:

  • Jennifer Lewis, fifth grade teacher, Ojibwa Elementary, Macomb, Michigan
    Entering her 17th year of teaching, Lewis has focused on science throughout her entire time in education, including LEGO robotics coaching. She began teaching STEM through the AWIM program five years ago, starting with the Jet Toy Challenge and advancing to facilitate an AWIM program for each grade, kindergarten through fifth grade.

The recipients of the 2020 Dickinson and Reuss Excellence in Education Awards were nominated by SAE International members and volunteers.

SAE’s AWIM is a teacher-administered, industry volunteer-assisted program that brings science, technology, engineering and math education to life in the classroom for students in Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 8. Benchmarked to the national standards, the AWIM program incorporates integrated STEM learning experiences through hands-on activities that reinforce classroom STEM learning.

To learn more information about these awards, please visit: or

To learn more about the AWIM program, please visit: 

About SAE International
SAE International is a global association committed to advancing mobility knowledge and solutions for the benefit of humanity. By engaging nearly 200,000 engineers, technical experts and volunteers, we connect and educate mobility professionals to enable safe, clean, and accessible mobility solutions. We act on two priorities: encouraging a lifetime of learning for mobility engineering professionals and setting the standards for industry engineering. We strive for a better world through the work of our philanthropic SAE Foundation, including award-winning programs like A World In Motion® and the Collegiate Design Series™. More at


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