Early in my career I realized that I had a deep passion for teaching science, and that I needed to share that passion with both my students and colleagues. Since then I have worked tirelessly to provide authentic learning opportunities for my students and support for my peers. Receiving the Presidential Award is truly an honor. It is both a recognition of the work that has been done, and a lighting of a fire for the work that lies ahead of me.

Christina Hwande Clayton, MO | K-6, Science, 2016

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

Christina Hwande has served as the Elementary Science Specialist at Ralph M. Captain Elementary School in the School District of Clayton for the past 10 years. Prior to that, she served as a classroom teacher for six years at Jana Elementary School in the Hazelwood School District. In her current role, Christina teaches kindergarten through fifth grade science, helps oversee the elementary science curriculum, provides in-house professional development, organizes the Science Fair, and manages the school's science materials. Christina believes students learn best through authentic learning opportunities, and strives to provide an environment that invites and encourages students to discover, tinker, explore, and test. In her tenure at Captain Elementary, she has incorporated school-wide science note-booking, outdoor education opportunities, partnerships with local scientists, citizen science projects, and technology integration. Outside of the classroom, Christina continues to serve the science education community by providing professional development, serving as a grant reviewer, and creating both instructional and assessment materials. Christina earned a B.S. in education from the University of Central Missouri and a M.A. in education in instructional process from Washington University in St. Louis. She is certified in elementary education as well as middle school science.