Receiving this Presidential Award is a special honor and recognition of the importance of mathematics in primary education. I feel grateful to my many mentors, formal and informal, including family, friends, teachers, coworkers, administrators, my students, and their families. They have taught me the importance of humor, self-care, and taking time to quietly and intentionally reflect on my teaching methods. My students work hard every day to improve. ¡Es perseverancia!

Carissa Tobin Minneapolis, MN | K-6, Mathematics, 2014

Carissa Tobin most recently taught first grade in the Spanish/English Transitional Dual Language Program at Nellie Stone Johnson Community School, where she was a teacher for nine years. Her current position is at Webster Elementary School, where she is a Spanish teacher. Carissa enjoys looping with students from kindergarten to first grade, as she is doing this year, because it gives her the chance to form ongoing relationships with students and families. She works to build a classroom culture of intrinsic motivation, independence, problem-solving skills, perseverance, and a love of challenges. Carissa collects and analyzes data to assess students’ abilities and reflect on her own teaching. She collaborates with the mathematics specialist at her school to organize and teach differentiated mathematics and intervention groups that meet all students’ needs. She has written mathematics curriculum and filmed her number sense routine lessons for use in her school district. In her role as Transitional Dual Language Team Lead, she works to make sure that the school’s bilingual program best serves its Spanish-speaking students. Carissa holds a B.A. in Spanish from Carleton College and a M.A.T. from Hamline University. She is certified in kindergarten through sixth grade elementary and bilingual/bicultural education.