This award provides me with a high-quality professional development opportunity with the ability to network with exemplary teachers, researchers, and mathematics leaders from other states to improve my own instructional practice. The Presidential Award is also an opportunity to share my passion for teaching mathematics to at-risk students through a social justice lens, and to demonstrate student learning and success in an inquiry-based classroom.

Stephanie Vega Sparks, NV | K-6, Mathematics, 2016

Stephanie Vega has been an educator for 10 years, teaching elementary grades and serving as an instructional coach. In 2015–2016, Stephanie taught sixth grade at Lincoln Park Elementary School. She currently teaches all subjects for kindergarten at Alice Maxwell Elementary School. Stephanie has presented at local and national conferences, including the National Association for Multicultural Education and the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. She has published articles in education journals, such as Teaching Children Mathematics, Kappa Delta Pi Record, and Equity and Excellence in Education. Since 2007, Stephanie has worked with the Northern Nevada Girls Math & Technology Program (an out-of-school time organization), in various roles including Assistant Program Director and Computer Instructor. Stephanie assists with Math Science Partnership Grant project management to provide statewide professional development and build teacher leadership. Stephanie earned a B.S., magna cum laude, in elementary education and special education and a M.S. in educational specialties with an emphasis on equity and diversity from the University of Nevada, Reno. She is certified in kindergarten through eighth grade elementary education and K-12 special education. She holds an endorsement in teaching English as a Second Language.