Being selected for the Presidential Award is by far the biggest accomplishment of my career. As a child, I struggled with mathematics. I made it my mission to help children develop a strong number sense and understand the practical use of mathematics. I am fortunate to work with amazing educators and mentors. Being a part of the nomination process has made me a stronger educator and proud to be among other professionals that feel as passionate as I do about what we accomplish every day.

Nicole Gilson Orange, CT | K-6, Mathematics, 2014

Nicole Gilson recently completed her 18th year of teaching elementary school. Currently, she teaches fifth grade at Peck Place School. She has also taught first, third, fourth, and sixth grade. Nicole‚Äôs approach to teaching mathematics is based on the learning needs of her students. Assessing data such as homework, pretests, and quizzes, Nicole differentiates her instruction by using a workshop-style model: mini lesson, small group targeted instruction, math partners solving problems together, then gradually releasing responsibility to the student. Nicole uses the concrete-representational-abstract teaching method to develop mathematical concepts.  Nicole has attended the Yale University Summer Fellowships: Summer Solar Institute/NASA collaboration; and the Yale Center for the British Arts: Visual Literacy in the Classroom. In addition, she is a cooperating teacher and mentor guiding student teachers in making the teaching of mathematics meaningful and successful. She has served on many professional development committees in both math and science for her school district. Nicole has a B.A. in communication science from the University of Connecticut and a M.S. in elementary education from the University of New Haven. She is certified in kindergarten through sixth grade elementary education.