It is an incredible honor to receive the Presidential Award. It not only recognizes me, but the countless students, families, colleagues, administrators, and teachers who shaped me into the educator I am today. From them, I have learned that great teachers know that building encouraging and challenging relationships with students is as important as content and pedagogy. Receiving this honor challenges me to continue my professional growth and to inspire the next generation of science educators.

John Scali Middletown, DE | 7-12, Science, 2015

John Scali has taught Integrated Science at MOT Charter High School for the past two years. He spent the previous 15 years teaching Chemistry and Physical Science at Concord High School in Wilmington, DE. Throughout his career, John developed student-centered classrooms that allowed students to explore science concepts and to advance beyond learning about science to becoming scientists. John began working at MOT Charter School in its inaugural year. He has been instrumental in developing a science curriculum based on the Next Generation Science Standards in this academically rigorous and student centered STEM and Arts school. In addition to working with high school students, John mentors first and second year science teachers through University of Delaware’s Alternative Routes to Certification program. John has presented sessions on the findings of his doctoral research focused on the order of concept introduction in a student-centered chemistry classroom. He has also presented sessions on developing science curricula, best practices in student centered instruction, and using water purification as an inquiry-based way to introduce basic chemical principles. John earned a B.A. in chemistry education, a M.Ed. in science curriculum and instruction, and an Ed.D. in educational leadership in science curriculum from the University of Delaware. He is certified as a teacher of chemistry grades 9–12.