This award affirms the idea that anyone given the correct instruction in mathematics can be successful. The Presidential Award is validation for the years I have spent striving for excellence through collaboration, collegial conversations, and professional learning. It is through this understanding that I learned to bring mathematics content to my students, while nurturing relationships with them that supported their ability to value mistakes, persevere, and grow through problem solving.

Heidi Harris Hutchinson, KS | K-6, Mathematics, 2016

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

Heidi Harris has been an elementary educator for more than 21 years. She spent the last three years teaching at Union Valley Elementary School. During the 2015–2016 school year, she taught third grade and is currently teaching three sections of fifth grade mathematics. Heidi has served as a classroom teacher as well as mathematics specialist. Prior to this assignment, Heidi taught for 17 years in a school with a high number of non-English speaking students from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds. The needs of these students challenged her to search for a deeper understanding of mathematics. Heidi understands that not all students have had positive mathematics experiences and it is her passion to see each student be successful in their mathematical thinking. She understands that when you meet a student’s needs conceptually, the concept will stay with them for a lifetime. Heidi has presented mathematics training at both the local and state levels. She has served as an exemplar model for many districts implementing Cognitively Guided Instruction. She won the Davis Teacher of the Year award in 2007. Heidi received a B.S. in elementary education at Sterling College and a M.A. in curriculum instruction with an English as a Second Language Endorsement from Newman University. She is certified to teach elementary education.