The Presidential Award recognizes the contributions of other educators in my life and my students. I have been fortunate to work alongside excellent educators my entire career, and that has fueled my passion for continuously striving to become a better educator. My students have inspired me through their sense of curiosity and enthusiasm. I feel that I am not only receiving this award as an individual, but that it also recognizes the work of my peers and students.

James Schrankler St. Paul, MN | K-6, Science, 2016

The official biography below was current at the time of the award.

Jim Schrankler is in his 15th year as a science and engineering specialist at St. Anthony Park Elementary School. He teaches kindergarten through fifth grade and has been in education for 29 years. He has also taught postsecondary science classes over the past 12 years and is currently teaching science methods courses to Dual Language Immersion teachers at the University of Minnesota. Over the past five years, Jim has worked as a research fellow on an eight million dollar National Science Foundation engineering grant. The research is a partnership between the University of Minnesota and Purdue University. The work has evolved into a teacher leadership role, where in addition to the curriculum writing and implementation, Jim coaches other teachers in utilizing the engineering design process. Jim engages his students through an opening gambit to start each class. Students become hooked and energized as they work through Jim’s presentation of contradictory engineering design challenges. His unique instructional techniques inspire his students to think deeply about the science of design. Jim earned a B.S. in elementary education from St. Cloud State University, a Master’s of Education from the University of Minnesota, and an advanced graduate certificate from St. Mary’s University of Minnesota. In addition to his teaching certification, he holds a K-12 Principal certification.