For me, the Presidential Award is a reflection of the dedication and commitment of my students, colleagues, and mentors, as well as the support of my family over the course of my career, which has shaped me into the educator I am today. The Presidential Award is the most highly regarded distinction in the fields of math and science education, and I am both humbled and honored to receive it. There is no greater gift to the world than educating children, and I am privileged to be a part of it.
Michael Fumagalli has been an educator for 10 years and spent the last nine years as a 9th–12th grade Biology and Anatomy/Physiology teacher at East Leyden High School. Currently, he is a Dean at Glenbard East High School.
One of Michael’s principal teaching methods is the utilization of phenomena to elicit questions that drive learning—an important component of the student experience in his classes. Students ask and answer questions that motivate the use of science and engineering practices that, in turn, deepen critical thinking and make learning both powerful and meaningful. Inspiring them to be creative thinkers and innovators, Michael’s students find value in exploring the world around them.
In 2014, Michael was awarded the Illinois Science Teachers Association Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award in recognition of his exceptional contribution to the science classroom and professional learning community. Being involved with various research projects, a published author, as well as speaking at more than 20 local, state, and national conferences on instructional shifts toward the Next Generation Science Standards, Michael is greatly invested in helping teachers create unique and coherent learning experiences for students.
Michael earned a B.S. in athletic training, a M.A.T. in secondary science education from the University of Iowa, and a M.Ed. in educational leadership from Concordia University.