I am honored and awe-inspired to receive the Presidential Award. I am extremely fortunate and grateful to be able to do what I love and be recognized at such a high level. My accomplishments and achievements have been made possible with the support and encouragement of my wonderful family, mentors, colleagues, and students. It is for them that I continue to challenge myself and my students while striving to foster their curiosity and imagination.

Tonya Prentice Bryant Pond, ME | K-6, Science, 2016

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

For 11 years, Tonya Prentice has taught all subjects for fifth grade at Woodstock Elementary School. Previously, she taught physical education to sixth through eighth grade students. Continually working with colleagues and the community, Tonya strives to provide students with enriched, engaging real-world learning opportunities. She partnered with the Gulf of Maine Research Institute as the lead teacher to support rural educators in order to create and implement science investigations with students. For the last five years, Tonya has been a mentor for the Atlantic Salmon Fish Friends, allowing her students to raise and release this endangered species. Working with the University of Maine 4-H, she created STEM lessons and provided educational experiences for students outside the classroom. Tonya received The Kevin McCarthy Education Innovation Award, Community Volunteer of the Year from Woodstock Franklin Grange Hall, and attended the Mickelson ExxonMobil Teachers Academy. She has also received grants and awards that helped restore her school’s nature trail, raise Atlantic Salmon in her classroom, and provide new technology for her students. Tonya earned a B.S. in marine science from Coastal Carolina University and a M.S., summa cum laude, in science and mathematics education from Walden University. She is certified in kindergarten through eighth grade elementary education.