It is incredibly humbling to receive the Presidential Award. Every teacher who works hard to convey the passion they feel for their subject and inspire their students to love learning deserves this type of recognition. I was fortunate to have had parents and teachers who fostered a love of learning in me, which I always strive to impart to my students. I am grateful for the love of my family, the support of my colleagues, and for my students, who constantly challenge me to be a better teacher.

Marizza Bailey Scottsdale, AZ | 7-12, Mathematics, 2015

Marizza Bailey has taught high school mathematics for 13 years and at BASIS Scottsdale for the last six years. Currently, she teaches Advanced Placement Calculus, Introduction to Category Theory, Vector Calculus, History of Math, and Complex Analysis. Marizza believes that by leading and encouraging students to understand fundamental concepts, all students can appreciate and master topics in mathematics. To satisfy the demand for post-calculus classes at her school, Marizza designed courses that pair the rigor of a college curriculum with the excitement of activities, individual research, and discussion groups. She initiated a mathematics club which introduces students to a range of topics, including number and graph theory, in an effort to inspire young minds to discover the beauty of mathematics. Marizza is also Mathematics Mentor for BASIS Scottsdale, providing support and guidance to her colleagues. As the Mathematics Subject Adviser for all BASIS Schools, Marizza mentors and trains incoming mathematics teachers across the BASIS Schools network. Marizza has won the Raytheon Math Hero Award, the Wells Fargo Teacher’s Partner Program Grant, and the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Grant. Marizza earned a B.S. and a M.S. in pure mathematics from University of California, Irvine. She has earned National Board Certification in adolescence and young adulthood mathematics.