It is truly an honor to be recognized with the Presidential Award. This award is a testament to the exceptional colleagues and administrators who have inspired and given me opportunities to lift my practices to where they are today. It also celebrates our youngest learners recognizing that the deep thinking, collaboration, and discourse they do each day is worthy and valuable. Receiving this award deepens my dedication and passion to a profession where together we can do great things.

Susan Hammer Middleton, WI | K-6, Mathematics, 2016

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

Susan Hammer teaches all subjects for first grade at Sauk Trail Elementary School. She has worked at Sauk Trail for 32 years and has spent 28 years teaching first grade. As a teacher of some of our youngest learners, Susan believes she has an obligation to instill a love of learning. To Susan, this means getting her students engaged, confident, and eager to take on challenges. Through hands-on activities, her students are challenged to dig deep for understanding as they work in varied groupings. Susan creates a community where students feel safe to share their thinking, and discourse is valued and respected. Mindfulness is an important component in Susan’s classroom, where daily practice brings positive awareness to students, which is reflected in their learning and interactions. Susan recently received the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics‘ Mathematics Education Trust Award. She is a leader of the Wisconsin Statewide Mathematics Initiative, focusing on mathematics instruction, teacher support, and coaching. At the district level, Susan has helped develop and implement professional development as well as pilot, adopt, and implement new curriculum. Susan earned a B.S. in elementary and special education from the University of North Dakota. She is certified in elementary/middle level education for first through sixth grade and cognitive disabilities PK-12.