In a field where colleagues regularly reach above and beyond every day, it is difficult to consider anything one does as exceptional. Being honored with a Presidential Award is a truly humbling experience. It is a celebration of all the outstanding educators and students who have shared their talents and wisdom so generously. It confirms that engaging students in mathematics that are challenging, relevant, authentic, and set high expectations can be a catalyst for great learning and growth.

Laura Botte Fretz Burlington, VT | K-6, Mathematics, 2014

Laura Botte Fretz is in her 13th year of teaching sixth grade science and mathematics at Edmunds Middle School. She began her career in fourth and fifth grade classes in Vallejo, CA. Laura is dedicated to helping students see the value and beauty of mathematics by engaging them in real-world, open-ended questions that improve flexible thinking and analytical skills. She has embraced the use of technology in her classroom, allowing for greater differentiation to meet student needs, and affording students the opportunity for unique learning experiences. She has worked closely with the Tarrant Institute for Innovative Learning, receiving over $8,000 in grants. She served on both schoolwide and district Common Core Implementation Committees. She has led innovative workshops for teachers at her school and at statewide and national technology conferences, and has spoken on “The 21st Century Classroom: How Technology is Changing Why and How We Go to School” at the Vermont Legislative Summit on Education. Much of her work is profiled on the Tarrant Institute's education blog. Laura has a B.A. in General Arts with concentrations in Natural Sciences and Russian from Villanova University. She received an elementary teaching credential from the University of California, Davis, and a M.Ed. in Mathematics Curriculum Development and Leadership from the University of Vermont, where she was a Robert Noyce Fellow.