Earning the Presidential Award is both humbling and validating. It is humbling because I depend on collaboration with others in order to be effective and it is validating because it confirms that teaching rarely appears perfect, but relentless reflection followed by action leads to greater student achievement. This award confirms that content knowledge alone is insufficient and that compassion and empathy with colleagues and students are critical components of an effective learning environment. 

Lisa Bejarano Colorado Springs, CO | 7-12, Mathematics, 2015

Lisa Bejarano is in her 13th year as a mathematics educator and her fourth year teaching at Aspen Valley High School. She currently teaches Geometry, Precalculus, and Introduction to Computer Programming to students in grades 9–12, primarily using problem-based tasks, inquiry, and debate. Lisa enjoys encouraging and facilitating mathematical discourse and collaboration among her students. She recently began teaching computer programming because it supports students’ development of a growth mindset, building logical thinking skills and general confidence in overcoming challenging tasks. Lisa is a reflective blogger who frequently collaborates with other teachers to improve her teaching practice. She facilitates training for other teachers focused on designing and implementing personal professional development, developing curricula and lessons supporting Common Core Standards, and engaging and motivating students to become energetic problem solvers. Lisa is National Board Certified in adolescent and young adult mathematics. She earned her B.S. in engineering at the University of Colorado at Boulder and her M.A. in curriculum and instruction from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. Lisa holds a Master Teacher Certification 7–12 mathematics and a Career and Technical Education STEM Certification.