The Presidential Award is symbolic of a career that has been humbling and emotional, but most of all, rewarding. It is a reassurance in my faith and a testimony of my devotion and accomplishments. Most of all, the Presidential Award is the voice to my passion as a Science/STEM teacher, a mentor to my students, and a role model for the future generation of teachers. I am truly honored for this opportunity and experience.

Shamika Williams-Henley St. Thomas, VI | 7-12, Science, 2013

Shamika Williams-Henley began her journey as an educator on Dec. 10, 2001. Hired as a secondary science teacher for the Ivanna Eudora Kean High School, she has taught the subjects of Botany, General Biology, and Honors Biology to 10th-12th graders. In 2008, she developed and implemented the Introduction to Forensic Science course. As the chairperson for the science department, Shamika was able to foster an interdepartmental relationship that lends to collaboration through the implementation of professional learning communities (PLCs). Within the science PLCs, teachers take turns giving presentations and conducting professional development on a wide range of topics for the purpose of increasing student achievement.  Shamika has served as a member of the school improvement team, co-chairperson of the accreditation process, senior building representative for the American Federation of Teachers, and co-advisor for the school's National Honor Society Chapter. She currently serves as co-advisor for the Family Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) and the Future Farmers of America (FFA) chapters. Shamika earned her B.S. in biology from Xavier University of Louisiana and her M.A. in forensic science from National University, California. She is also certified by the Virgin Islands Board of Education in secondary science teaching.