The Presidential Award is the highest honor bestowed upon me for my work as a mathematics teacher. I am grateful to have had a career for the past 27 years that also happens to be my passion, and achieving recognition for the work that I love is both validating and exciting. In addition, I feel extremely fortunate to have had the love and support of family members, friends, colleagues, and parents along the way. I look forward to continuing the important work that has earned me this great honor.

Barbara Ellis Yarmouth, ME | K-6, Mathematics, 2016

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

Barbara Ellis has been an educator for 29 years. For the past 20 years, she has taught sixth grade mathematics and science at Frank Harrison Middle School. Previously, she taught seventh grade mathematics at Lyman Moore Middle School. Barbara believes that differentiated instruction is the way to meet the needs of all learners, and she uses flexible grouping to achieve this. Her teaching includes using the Connected Math Project curriculum for the past 19 years,working diligently to improve student discourse using these materials. This is evident in her classroom, as students can be heard using rich mathematical language to listen and respond to one another. Barbara has worked as a member of several content area teams. She has also served in leadership roles including Math Learning Area Leader and Grade Six Team Leader. She has participated in several professional learning communities and book groups, and has served as a mathematics team coach throughout her teaching career. Barbara has presented her work at local, state and national conferences, including the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics and the Association of Teachers of Mathematics in Maine. Barbara earned a B.A., summa cum laude, in elementary education from the University of Southern Maine with a minor in mathematics and computer science. She is certified to teach kindergarten through eighth grade.