The Presidential Award is a monumental honor. It is an affirmation that my passion for learning and engaging students in meaningful endeavors to support them in their learning and their lives is valued in science education. My successes are my students’ successes and are possible because of the continued support and collaboration of colleagues, administrators, students, and my family. To me, this award is a celebration of life long learning, meaningful community, educational partnerships.

Mary Louise McLaughlin Barre, VT | 7-12, Science, 2015

Mary Louise (ML) McLaughlin has been an educator for 13 years, teaching primarily middle school science. She has been teaching 8th grade science and Science Enrichment at Barre Town Middle and Elementary School for four years. ML embraces Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and pedagogy to provide rigorous and enriching units to develop and deepen independent critical thinking, communication, and respectful argumentation so her students are better able to deepen their understanding, solve problems, and apply their knowledge in engineering design challenges. She instills in her students the desire to always do their best and to never stop learning. ML is active in her school and district as a member of the Science Curriculum Committee and Local Licensing Board. She is a mentor to beginning teachers and veteran colleagues in science best practices. She has completed Next Generation Science Exemplar Leadership Training and has facilitated professional development opportunities in NGSS best practices at the district level. ML has co-presented at the state level on the importance of written and oral discourse in science and the connections between NGSS and the Common Core. ML earned a B.A. in biology from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and a M.Ed., magna cum laude, in science education from Johnson State College. She is currently certified to teach grades 5–9 science and language arts.