I am honored to be considered for the Presidential Award. I am passionate about guiding adolescents to appreciate and love science. This award represents how important STEM is to the intellectual growth of our students and the impact they will have on the world of tomorrow. I would be thrilled to join the 4,400 teachers that have been honored with this award and form an extensive network of sharing and collaboration. This is a tribute to all of my students, colleagues, and family.

Gail Vawter Fort Mill, SC | 7-12, Science, 2015

Gail Vawter has taught middle level science for 21 of her 29 years as an educator. For the past 10 years, she taught 7th grade science at Springfield Middle School, preceded by six years at Gold Hill Middle School. She also taught science and mathematics at Wilson Middle School and Assumption School, and 3rd through 6th grades at Sedgefield Elementary School in Charlotte, NC. Gail has a love of middle level students coupled with a passion for science. She empowers and motivates students to implement inquiry-based science projects and to enter STEM fields. She has served as a mentor and adjunct professor at Winthrop University teaching candidates how to develop and implement inquiry in the classroom. Gail works with identified priority schools in South Carolina as a science curriculum specialist, and trains scorers for National Board Renewals. She has presented at state and national conferences and serves on the Board for the South Carolina Association for Middle Level Educators. She was 2004 Fort Mill District Teacher of the Year and a 2013 Siemens STEM Institute Fellow. Gail earned a B.A. in education from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and a M.Ed. in middle level science from the University of North Carolina-Charlotte. She is National Board Certified in early adolescence/science. She is certified in kindergarten through 8th grade and middle level science.