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Atlanta educator Junior Bernadin received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring this year. Bernadin is the Dean and IT Director at The Ron Clark Academy (RCA), a highly-acclaimed, nonprofit middle school located in Southeast Atlanta.
The school received both national and international recognition for its success in creating a loving, dynamic learning environment that promotes academic excellence and fosters leadership.
“I am honored to have the privilege of representing the best STEM mentors in the nation who continuously invest in the lives of both students and teachers,” Bernadin said. “I am thankful for the opportunity of providing students with exposure and real-world STEM experiences. As a Haitian-American born in Little Haiti, this prestigious honor is more than just an award. It is an opportunity to share best STEM practices with educators worldwide and show my students that representation matters in the STEM field.”
Throughout his career, Bernadin received numerous accolades for his work with both educators and students, such as the Global Forum for Education and Learning Top 100 Leaders in Education, the Atlanta Business Chronicle 40 Under 40, Georgia Trend Magazine 40 Under 40, and selection for the Forbes Technology Council.
A member of the Leadership Atlanta Class of 2022 and 100 Black Men of South Metro Atlanta, Bernadin is believed to be the first awardee of Haitian-American descent. Together with his team at RCA, he has provided professional development training to close to 100,000 educators from around the world.
Atlanta STEM educator puts Little Haiti on the map with Presidential Award
In his role as director of information technology, Mr. Bernadin provides all system support to the Academy as well as maintains and manages all levels of technical support and integration within the school. In 2009, he organized students participating in RCA’s Senior Tech program, a student-led program where senior citizens learn computer literacy skills.
President Biden named 117 teachers, mentors, and mentoring organizations as recipients of the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) and Presidential Awards for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring (PAESMEM) this year.
In the White House announcement, President Biden stated, “PAESMEM recognizes mentors for their efforts to inspire and encourage individuals from underserved and underrepresented communities in STEM and their efforts to ensure that all Americans can fully participate in science, mathematics, and technology regardless of gender, race, resources or geography.”
He continued, saying “The dedication these individuals and organizations have demonstrated to prepare students for careers in STEM fields, during what has been a difficult time for teachers, students, and families, plays a huge role in American innovation and competitiveness. The work that teachers and mentors do ensures that our Nation’s children are able to unlock — for themselves and all of us – a world of possibilities.”