The Presidential Award is a celebration with all the people who have helped shape my mathematics instruction. I was fortunate enough to have a brilliant mentor who facilitated a mathematics best practices implementation at my school and taught me that "Wrong is temporary, wrong is productive." His guidance and the support from my colleagues pushed me to teach the way I now do. Most of all, this award celebrates the many students I've helped to believe in themselves as mathematicians.

David Baird Charlotte, VT | K-6, Mathematics, 2016

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

David Baird has been teaching for 14 years, and has spent the past 12 years at Charlotte Central School where he has taught fourth, fifth, and sixth grade. He currently teaches fifth grade mathematics and science. As the mathematics studio teacher at his school, David opened his classroom up to colleagues and administrators to ensure everyone could benefit from a laboratory model of instructional practices for mathematics. He has taught over a dozen studio lessons, each with 10-15 teachers, coaches, and administrators, analyzing instruction and student learning. He has helped debrief the instructional moves after each session. David's students would say he uses humor to make learning fun and that he truly believes everyone can be successful. He encourages his students to take risks and has permanently written on the whiteboard in his room, "Wrong is temporary, wrong is productive" and "I don't get it, YET!". He even learned to juggle this past year in order to promote the model that anyone can learn anything if they practice and do not give up. David earned a B.A. in economics from the University of Vermont and worked for 7 years in the software industry as a financial analyst prior to going into education. He received his Elementary Teacher Certification from the Upper Valley Teacher Institute. He is currently certified to teach kindergarten through sixth grade.