I teach because I have a mission to make complex information and processes accessible to as many students as I can at West Fargo High School. This award adds additional "fuel" to accomplish this mission. This award reaffirms my decision 25 years ago to serve this nation as a teacher. With 20 more years of work in front of me, I will carry this precious moment with me as I continue my pursuit to demystify physics and bring students into the STEM disciplines.

Michelle Strand West Fargo, ND | 7-12, Science, 2015

Michelle Strand has been a science educator for 22 years at the high school and community college levels. Michelle has been teaching science at West Fargo High School for the past six years. She currently teaches Physics, Advanced Placement (AP) Physics I, AP Physics C Mechanics, and AP Physics C Electricity and Magnetism to 10th–12th grade students. With a focus on critical thinking, collaborative efforts, design thinking, and engagement initiatives, students develop 21st century skills while linking the relevance of physics to the world around them. Michelle has assumed many national leadership roles including the national AP Physics Community for the past 15 years. She has graded AP physics exams, served on the AP Physics 1/2 Audit Development Committee, serves on the AP Physics C Test Development Committee, and trains teachers for AP Physics as an AP Physics Consultant throughout the country. Michelle has served as Chair of the Educational Technologies Committee for the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) and is the current President of the North Dakota chapter of AAPT. Michelle earned a B.S., magna cum laude, in life science and physical science from St. Cloud State University and a M.Ed. in curriculum and instruction from Doane College. She is National Board Certified in secondary science and is certified to teach 7–12 sciences.