The Presidential Award honors each student that I have had the privilege of working with in my career. It represents our growth and my development as a teacher. This award recognizes the struggles in the pursuit of deep conceptual understanding of high level mathematics and exemplifies the importance of strong classroom culture. My students have always been the heart of the classroom and the Presidential Award belongs to them, for their trust and faith in my abilities as their teacher.

Kelly Zunkiewicz Ruskin, FL | 7-12, Mathematics, 2015

Kelly Zunkiewicz taught for nine years at Dr. Earl J. Lennard High School. During her tenure, she taught 12 mathematics courses, ranging from Algebra I to Advanced Placement (AP) Calculus AB. She also served as Instructional Coach for four years. In her last year, Kelly taught Precalculus Honors and AP Calculus AB. She now works in the Bureau of Educator Recruitment, Development, and Retention for the Florida Department of Education. Kelly’s competitive attitude, deep content knowledge, and enthusiasm for her students produced a unique classroom environment where her students discovered how to complete high level mathematics without traditional lectures. This led to a dramatic increase in student performance and female participation in advanced math courses. Kelly spoke at the 2015 Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s U.S. Education Learning Forum and the Aspen Institute’s Meeting the Assessment Demands of the College, Career, and Civic Ready Agenda Conference. She was Hillsborough County’s 2011–12 Mathematics Teacher of Excellence, PRISM Mathematics Teacher of the Year, a 2014 recipient of The New Teacher Project’s (TNTP) Fishman Prize for Superlative Classroom Practice, and served on TNTP’s Editorial Board and as a guest blogger. Kelly earned a B.S., magna cum laude, in secondary mathematics education from Ohio Dominican University. She is certified to teach mathematics in grades 6–12.