In our ever-changing world, STEM careers are on the rise. As a STEM teacher, my goal is to prepare my students to be successful in the competitive, global community of their future. By receiving the Presidential Award, my teaching is validated and recognized as being an integral part of each of my students' lives — helping them prepare for their future. My colleagues recognized my passion for STEM for primary students and honored my efforts by nominating me for this outstanding award.

Bridget Lester Fort Rucker, AL | K-6, Science, 2014

Bridget Lester has worked as an elementary and middle school educator for 12 years, serving as a kindergarten through first grade STEM and gifted education teacher for six years at Fort Rucker Primary School. Bridget understands the critical nature of STEM education for young children. Because of this passion for preparing students for the world in which they will live and work, Bridget has devoted her time and energy to developing and implementing a STEM education curriculum in her school. She has converted an outdated computer lab into a STEM lab where students tackle real-world problems and develop and strengthen collaboration, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills. As a Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) teacher, Bridget was nominated to attend the 2015 ExxonMobil/AGI Teacher Leadership Academy. In addition, she has served as a member of the continuous school improvement team and the district science leadership team. Bridget has led two professional learning teams through which an assessment system was developed and is now being used around the world. Bridget was named 2015–2016 Teacher of the Year for the Georgia/Alabama District. Bridget has a B.A. in elementary education from Oral Roberts University, a M.S. in educational psychology from Oklahoma State University, and is working on her Ph.D. in educational leadership at Auburn University.