The Presidential Award is both an honor and a celebration of education. It is an incredible privilege to be nominated and considered for this prestigious award. To be chosen from a field of distinguished educators is unbelievably humbling and validates the many hours that I and many other educators dedicate to our field. The Presidential Award is a tribute to the commitment and devotion of thousands of educators across the United States who inspire their students every day.

Celena Miller Pharr, TX | K-6, Science, 2014

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

For last eight years, Celena Miller has been the Science Lab Instructor at Cesar Chavez Elementary School, teaching fourth and fifth grade. Early in her career, Celena was selected for the prestigious NASA LiftOff Summer Institute, which is sponsored by the Texas Space Grant Consortium, and returned to the program the subsequent two years. Celena and her class have participated in NASA’s Project 3D-VIEW; the NASA Endeavor Science Teaching Certificate Project; the Robotics, Ocean, and Microgravity Explorers Challenge (ROME); as a Mars Atmospheric and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) Teacher Ambassador; and other programs. Additionally, they participated in two missions to the International Space Station with the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education for the Student Spaceflight Experiment Program. In 2014, Celena was named the HEB Excellence in Education Rising Star Winner for Texas and served as the 2015 Texas Academy of Science Outstanding Texas Educator. Celena’s ultimate goal is to inspire her students to achieve beyond their own expectations. Her classroom aspires to build a love of learning that excites students by hands-on activities and real-world science. Celena holds the bachelor’s degree in Rehabilitation Services and the master’s degree in Rehabilitation Counseling from the University of Texas, Pan American. She is certified in science teaching, grades four to eight.