The Presidential Award is such an outstanding honor, and honestly a testament of our students and colleagues.  It is their diligence, perseverance, and creativity in our laboratories that inspire us all. I am honored that my students see me as a scientist who can help guide them toward their own inner-scientist, that they ignite my passion for STEM, and that our collaboration together has recognized us with our nation’s highest academic award.

Jeffery Wehr Odessa, WA | 7-12, Science, 2015

Jeffery Wehr has been an educator and scientist for 19 years. He has spent the last 12 years at Odessa High School, where he currently teaches Integrated Science, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Computer Programming, and Advanced STEM Research Laboratory. He taught the first six years of his career at J-I High School in Montana. Jeff is more than a science and engineering teacher; he strives to create scientists and engineers. He and his wife, Julie, are Odessa’s secondary science department utilizing a student driven, research-based methodology in their courses. Jeff founded the Advanced STEM Research Laboratory 17 years ago, where his students conduct internationally recognized independent research. Jeff’s teaching methodology earned him the Department of Education’s American Star of Teaching Award, the Washington State Regional Teacher of the Year, the National Siemens Founder’s Award for STEM Research, and the National Junior Science and Humanities STEM Research Award. Jeff earned a B.A. in zoological biology, a B.A. in environmental biology, and a minor in music composition from the University of Montana. He earned his M.S. in science education from Montana State University. He received his professional certification in secondary science teaching in Montana and Washington. He is a member of the Sigma Xi Scientific Research Society.