Being selected for the Presidential Award in science is an amazing honor because I know many others that are equally qualified. I could not have accomplished this milestone without the support, guidance, and encouragement of my students, colleagues, and family. Being recognized as a leader in science education confirms my beliefs that in order to become scientifically literate, students need opportunities to explore and experiment so that they can make informed decisions based on evidence.

Colleen Windell Lolo, MT | K-6, Science, 2014

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

Colleen Windell has been teaching in Montana since 1986. She taught science at Lolo Middle School for 24 years, primarily at the sixth grade level. For the past two years, she has taught seventh grade biology at Washington Middle School. Colleen uses a variety of instructional strategies to enhance student learning and make real-world connections. She challenges students' thinking through the process of inquiry as they construct their understanding of science, technology, and engineering. She provides opportunities for students to explore different scientific content in a variety of ways. Professional development for elementary teachers has always been a focus for Colleen. At the local level, she has been part of the Missoula County Science Curriculum Committee for over 15 years. She has been involved in several National Science Foundation grants, including receiving a Noyce Fellowship in 2009–2011. She has presented at local and regional venues and worked with Montana’s Office of Public Instruction on several statewide science curriculum projects, including the Next Generation Science Standards final review. Colleen has a B.A. in elementary education and a M.A. in curriculum and instruction from the University of Montana. She is certified to teach kindergarten through eighth grade. In 2013, Colleen earned her National Board Certification in Early Adolescence/Science.