If you choose to do something you should do your best work and seek opportunities to grow and learn. I believe that great teachers do not become great on their own, nor do they ever stop learning. I have been fortunate to find a school that supports my classroom choices and helps me grow by providing opportunities to collaborate with passionate colleagues both in and out of STEM fields. The Presidential Award is proof that my efforts to do my best, in a profession I love, have been recognized.

Karen Newman Durham, NC | 7-12, Science, 2015

Karen Newman has been teaching in and out of a classroom for 25 years. She started her career as an environmental educator at a variety of summer camps and outdoor education programs. For the last 16 years she has been teaching Honors and Advanced Placement Chemistry as well as a variety of electives, most recently including Epidemiology, Forensics, and Material Science, at Durham Academy. In her time at Durham Academy, Karen has served as a Lead Class Advisor, a mentor to new faculty, and as a partner to seasoned teachers in the school’s Professional Growth Program. She presented a session about the use of whiteboards in the classroom at the North Carolina Association of Independent Schools annual conference. Her use of whiteboards in the classroom has become so successful with her students that the entire Science Department has implemented whiteboards as a standard teaching tool. Karen has written and proctored events at a variety of science olympiad competitions in North Carolina and Virginia. Karen has also been a Head Coach for the Durham Academy Science Olympiad Team for the last 15 years, taking her students to regional, state, national, and most recently invitational competitions. Karen earned a B.S. in chemistry from Centre College, a M.S. in oceanography from Florida State University, and a M.Ed. in science education from the North Carolina State University.