The Presidential Award provides recognition for the hard work, dedication, and love of the teaching profession that thousands of educators, like myself, share with their students day after day, year after year. This award motivates me to continue to create exciting, innovative lessons in order to bring science to life every day for my students. I am deeply honored and humbled by this prestigious award, and grateful that I have the opportunity to make a difference in so many young science minds.
Tracy Smith has taught 8th grade science since 1989. Currently, she teaches Gifted Physical Science at Bak Middle School of the Arts, where she has taught for 18 years.
Tracy’s inquiry-based learning environment fosters discovery, amazement, and divergent thinking. Providing students with stimulating research, real-world knowledge, and innovative, hands-on activities has afforded her students the opportunity for real-world application and development of higher order thinking skills. Her positive influence as a female scientist has had an impact on her female students’ success in district and state science competitions, advanced high school programs, and science career choices. A parent said in her Presidential Award nominating letter, “She truly has a gift, and we are so privileged that she has chosen to share it with our children.”
Tracy believes leadership is vital for the success of science education in her community. She has shared her teaching pedagogy at conferences and universities. Her leadership in Common Core, professional development, and science department committees has provided teacher motivation for successful science education across the county.
Tracy earned a B.S. in health science education from the University of Florida. She is certified in K–12 health, middle grades General Science, and gifted endorsed. She received National Board Certification in early adolescent science in 2002.