Receiving the Presidential Award is a testament to the hard work and perseverance of my students. Their enthusiasm for learning and engagement in the classroom is what makes me fall in love with teaching again and again, year after year. I am grateful for this recognition and I share it with my students, their families, and my colleagues.

Kelley Padilla Washington, DC | K-6, Mathematics, 2016

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

Kelley Padilla has been teaching first grade for the District of Columbia Public Schools for nine years. She teaches all subjects at Bruce Monroe at Park View Elementary School, an English/Spanish Dual Language School. Prior to coming to the District of Columbia Public Schools, Kelley served as a teaching assistant in Virginia and as an environmental educator in the Peace Corps. Kelley feels great pride each year when her students meet and exceed her expectations. Throughout the year, first graders learn many new mathematical concepts including problem solving, place value, and mental mathematics. During her time as a first grade teacher, Kelley has learned that students use different levels of strategy to problem solve. She knows the level at which each of her students is working and provides them with the space and time to practice at that level, but also encourages them to try strategies that may not be in their comfort zone. Kelley has led district-wide professional development sessions and has been recognized as a highly effective teacher. She welcomes colleagues from all over the District into her classroom each year to observe her mathematics practice. Kelley earned a Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Virginia. She is certified in first through sixth grade elementary education and K-12 Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages.