The Presidential Award is recognition of my love of teaching. I know that my excitement for education is a direct result of having learned from some amazingly passionate teachers when I was a student. This award reflects their devotion to me as a student, as well as my own commitment to education. The Presidential Award is a reminder that while I've started my teaching career on the right path, I have to continue working hard for my students and to advance the teaching profession as a whole. 

Christopher Benshoof Fairbanks, AK | 7-12, Mathematics, 2015

Christopher (Chris) Benshoof has taught mathematics, Advanced Placement (AP) Statistics, and AP Computer Science to 9th–12th grade students at Lathrop High School for eight years. He teaches at the high school from which he graduated, and knows that his success is a result of the education he received at Lathrop High School. The teachers he had as a student and those he works with today greatly influence his teaching.  Chris coaches the Academic Decathlon Team, and sees it as a way to help students from many backgrounds appreciate the value of a well-rounded education. He believes that applying math and science concepts alongside art, music, and literature is a great way to engage students. To provide more opportunities for students, Chris volunteers to offer an evening AP course for students. Chris has taught evening courses in AP Art History, AP Environmental Science, and AP Human Geography. For his own professional development, Chris is working on a Ph.D. in education. At his school, Chris has been a part of many Professional Learning Communities focused on student success and increasing learning for all students. Chris earned a B.S. in mathematics, a M.Ed. in curriculum and instruction, and a M.S. in resource economics—all from the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. He is certified in secondary mathematics, and is also a National Board Certified Teacher in adolescent and young adult mathematics.