The Presidential Award recognizes excellence in mathematics and science teaching. My personal journey stemmed from my drive to improve myself. I continually strive to gain knowledge and reflect upon my instruction to enhance the learning of my students. The award is an affirmation of this work. It honors not only me, but also the teachers, colleagues, and administrators who have influenced my teaching practices. Most importantly, it celebrates the growth of my students. It is a tremendous honor.

Laura Stevens South Portland, ME | K-6, Mathematics, 2014

Laura Stevens has been an educator since 1993. For two years, Laura taught second grade at James Otis Kaler Elementary School. Prior to that, she taught 15 years at Dora L. Small Elementary School. Before switching to elementary education, she taught undergraduate psychology courses for four years. Laura’s instruction is focused on fostering a passion for learning. She engages her students through interdisciplinary project-based units. Laura sets high standards for her students and herself. Her strength is forging connections with her students that allow her to push them out of their comfort zones and to develop their critical thinking skills. Laura has inspired many students to embrace a love of mathematics. Laura has pursued STEM-focused professional development, including a Number Talks study group, a course on teaching mathematics through engineering, and a seminar on integrating technology in mathematics and science curricula. She has shared her knowledge while serving in a variety of school and district leadership roles. Laura has a B.A., magna cum laude, in psychology from Allegheny College, a M.S. and a Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and a M.S. in literacy education from the University of Southern Maine. She is certified in kindergarten through eighth grade elementary education and is qualified to be a K–12 literacy specialist.