Too often, urban students in public schools do not have access to excellent teaching and current resources. I passionately believe that outstanding teachers should be strategically placed in struggling schools. The Presidential Award solidifies this belief--that excellent teaching can and does make a difference with even the most challenged students. The success of my students is my real award, and I am grateful for the opportunity to highlight their success by this recogntion.

Camsie Matis New York, NY | 7-12, Mathematics, 2009

The official biography below was current at the time of the award.

Camsie Matis, originally from Colorado, has taught in urban public schools for 10 years. For the last 3 years, she has taught algebra at East Side Community High School in Manhattan. Camsie is currently serving as an Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellow at the National Science Foundation and is the K-12 educator on the National Lab Day Leadership Team. Camsie began her career in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education at the Colorado School of Mines, where she received the Engineering Days Scholarship in 1993. Her teaching career began in Oakland, CA, where she taught mathematics and science at Westlake Middle School. After 6 years in Oakland, she moved to Boston to pursue a master's degree. She was recruited from the program to help design and open a small public school in the South Bronx, NY. Camsie uses real-life problem solving and creative writing literacy techniques to inspire struggling students. She has presented these ideas at several national and regional conferences. Camsie has a B.A., magna cum laude, in Political Science and General Engineering from the University of Denver, where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa. She also spent a semester studying in Moscow, Russia. She has a master's degree from Harvard Graduate School of Education. Camsie is certified in high school mathematics.

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