The Presidential Award is a celebration of my journey, one nurtured and supported by family, colleagues, and students. It validates my school and professional community, which encouraged and dedicated time for collaborative dialogue, analysis, and reflection, and the search for best practices for all students. Such practices develop character, community, and critical thinkers. With humbled gratitude, I am honored and inspired to do even more to strengthen our country’s mathematical literacy.
Giselle Isbell has been an educator for 24 years, teaching fifth grade mathematics and a fifth and sixth grade class at Anser Charter School for 15 years. Previously, she taught at St. Mary’s School. Currently, she is the Director of Prepared Mind for Athlos Academies, working on mathematics instruction and school program elements for partnering charter schools.
Giselle engages students by using contextual problems and strategic questions. By honoring students’ thinking and guiding strategies, she helps them develop grit and confidence. Her facilitation of collaborative, purposeful discourse fosters deeper understanding and reasoning.
Giselle has led mathematics workshops and presented at several conferences, including four Expeditionary Learning (EL) national conferences. Recently, she co-presented a mathematics action research paper at a regional meeting. She has participated in state workshops and taught three Mathematical Thinking for Instruction courses for a statewide mathematics initiative. Her Anser math class was featured in an EL-produced video.
Giselle Isbell has a B.A, cum laude, in psychology and a teaching certificate from Tulane University, where she graduated Phi Bata Kappa. She has a M.P.A. from Boise State University (BSU). She is certified to teach kindergarten through eighth grade and is working on a Mathematics Consulting Teacher Endorsement at BSU.