For me, teaching science is not just a full time job; it is a passion that spills into every facet of my life. The Presidential Award is validation that the rigor, relevance, and enthusiasm I bring to my classroom can inspire a generation of life long learners and problem solvers. It is a great honor to join the cadre of professionals that have achieved this award and a sign that our efforts in STEM education are valued by our nation’s leaders.

Lesley Urasky Rawlins, WY | 7-12, Science, 2015

Lesley Urasky has been a science educator for 18 years. This year, she will be teaching 8th grade science, Chemistry, Concurrent Geology, and Biomedical Science at Saratoga Middle and High School. Previously, Lesley taught science for 11 years at Rawlins High School and for seven years at the Science Academy of South Texas. She has also taught at the University of Texas, Brownsville and Western Wyoming Community College. Involvement in a variety of teacher research experiences has allowed Lesley to bring real-world science into her classroom. Her students have engaged in a variety of activities, from exploring local geology to representing Texas at the First Student Summit on Ocean Issues in Washington, D.C. She was a PolarTREC teacher to Antarctica and a NOAA Teacher at Sea. Lesley was a recipient of the Wyoming (WY) Geological Association’s Earth Science Teacher of the Year and was recognized on Neil DeGrasse Tyson’s Cosmos as a “Star Science Teacher of the Week.” Lesley has presented from local to national conferences. She is a member of National Science Teacher Association’s Awards and Recognition Committee, the WY State contact for the National Earth Science Teachers Association, and is on the WY State Science Standards Review Committee. Lesley earned a B.S. and a M.S. in geology from the University of Wyoming. She is certified to teach 6–12 science.