The Presidential Award is an affirmation of the thousands of students and teachers who have made me who I am today. I am the daughter of teachers and am privileged to be in "the family business" of celebrating, encouraging and affirming learners, which is the most important work that can be done. I am humbled to be considered for this honor because I know and work with many talented and passionate educators. If one student can be inspired to be more than she thought she could, then success is at hand.

Kerry Gruizenga Billings, MT | 7-12, Mathematics, 2015

Kerry Gruizenga has taught mathematics for nine years at Skyview High School. She currently teaches Algebra I and Algebra Foundations (a support class to help fill gaps for struggling freshman), and Advanced Placement Statistics for seniors. She is privileged to have a fabulous group of collaborators who meet weekly to improve the algebra curriculum. Kerry’s first love is watching students grow in mathematical understanding. On a daily basis, debate about which process might be the best or which tools might be used most effectively can be heard. She frequently utilizes open ended problems to bring students to a deeper understanding of problem solving. Kerry has presented mathematics workshops on activities and communication, including debate, and has published articles on a variety of mathematics education topics in Montana. Kerry is also passionate about communication and music inside the classroom and out. She coaches Skyview’s speech team and works directly with the choral program through the audition process and directing shows. This has provided many opportunities for students to realize the value of a well-rounded education, which encourages both mathematics and the arts in education at Skyview. Kerry earned a B.A., magna cum laude, in mathematics and elementary education from Jamestown College, ND. She is National Board Certified Teacher in secondary mathematics.