Experiencing science concepts and inquiry through the eyes of middle school students still fascinates me every day. Being considered for the Presidential Award has truly been a humbling experience, and I am grateful to have the privilege of representing all of the dedicated educators who put forth time and effort every day to make science come alive in their classrooms. This award inspires me to continue to challenge and encourage my students to “wonder” and become life-long problem solvers. 

Jeremi Wonch Olathe, KS | 7-12, Science, 2013

Jeremi Wonch has been an educator for over 26 years, spending the last five years teaching 7th grade Science at Indian Trail Middle School in Olathe, KS. Jeremi is currently an adjunct professor at Mid-America Nazarene University. She has also taught fourth and sixth grade in the Olathe School District.  Jeremi’s love of science and belief that students need to feel connected has led to the successful science Olympiad program at Indian Trail. Jeremi coaches the middle school team, which has qualified for the state competition the past five years. Along with using science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) lessons in her classroom and teaching a girls' STEM camp, Jeremi also encourages students to use inquiry skills by completing science fair projects. This hands-on learning process has been a part of her teaching for 25 years, and many students have won various awards as a result.  Within her district, Jeremi has helped develop curriculum both in science and leadership classes. She serves as a member of her school's building level team and has presented at both the building and district level. She was named as a Kansas Teacher of the Year semi-finalist in her district in 2015.  Jeremi has a B.A., summa cum laude, in elementary education and Christian education and a M.Ed. from Mid-America Nazarene University. She is certified in kindergarten through ninth grade in Kansas.