My students love nothing more than being validated for their work and contribution to our classroom culture. As a lifelong learner, I also thrive in the validation of my work and contribution to the education of the next generation. I am honored to be named a Presidential Award finalist and humbly thank all of my teachers and colleagues for their unselfish contribution to my growth as an educator. Above all, I am grateful to the students who are the reason I go to work loving my job every day.

Laura Darnall Madison, TN | 7-12, Science, 2015

Laura Darnall has taught high school science at Goodpasture Christian School for the past nine years. Currently, she teaches Physics, Advanced Placement Physics, and Pre-Engineering to 11th–12th grade students. She has also taught Chemistry, ACT Prep, and Scientific Investigation throughout her tenure. Over the years, Laura has encouraged her students to grow in science content knowledge, and as citizens of the 21st century. Through project-based learning, she has formed partnerships between her students and community members to use physics to develop solutions to relevant problems. Her students’ favorite projects include creating the electrical system for a tiny house and preparing testimony for a crash investigation with the Los Angeles Police Department. As well, she has trained other teachers in her problem-based learning methods. An active member of the Knowles Science Teaching Foundation, Laura serves as a Leadership Grant Reviewer, member of the Coaching Institute, and Senior Fellow. Laura has presented sessions at local and national conferences on teaching methods and science content. Laura earned a B.S., summa cum laude, in chemistry from Freed-Hardeman University in Henderson, TN and a M.Ed. from Lipscomb University in Nashville, TN. She is certified in physics and is National Board Certified in Adolescent/Young Adult Science.