This honor means so much because it is an award recognizing my passion. I feel humbled and blessed to be chosen. It shows my students that awards are earned by hard work and dedication, which are traits that transcend gender, race, and socioeconomic status. As my students have won accolades at the local, state, and national level based on those traits, this award, in reality, is won by them all. This honor will help students to look at science with the mindset of "I can achieve" because my teacher did!

Diedre Young Pine Bluff, AR | 7-12, Science, 2015

Diedre Young, an educator for 18 years, has been teaching science at Ridgway Christian High School for the past nine years. She is currently teaching 9th grade Physical Science, 10th grade Honors Biology, 11th grade Honors Chemistry, 12th grade Environmental Science, and 12th grade College Level Biology through South East Arkansas Community College. Diedre designs authentic research in the classroom and is the recipient of several research awards and grants. She was one of 12 national finalists for People Magazine’s Teacher of the Year award in 2013. She was published in the Research Based Education Journal and participated in a month long research project at sea on the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute Ship Atlantis doing physical oceanography. All of her students participate in U.S. and international science fairs. To date, her students have been awarded over $200,000 in science fair scholarships. Diedre has participated in several local, state, and national professional development workshops and presentations. She has presented in Europe, working with a school in Paderborn, Germany, on teaching climate change in the classroom. Diedre earned a B.A. in allied health, a B.S. in biology from Central Washington University, and a M.A.T from the University of Arkansas, Monticello. She is certified in grade 7–12 in life and physical science.