The Presidential Award is an incredible honor that I am proud to share with my students, colleagues, and community. This award would not be possible without the educators and mentors who inspired and supported my curiosity. It strengthens my enthusiasm for teaching mathematics and making a difference in the lives of my students.

Kathleen Olenderski Middletown, DE | 7-12, Mathematics, 2017

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

Kathleen Olenderski has been a mathematics teacher for 12 years at Alfred G. Waters Middle School in the Appoquinimink School District. Kathleen teaches eighth-grade Mathematics, Integrated Mathematics I, and instructional support classes. Students in Kathleen’s class can be found problem-solving in groups around the room on whiteboards, presenting their ideas to the class, and making connections to the outside world. Using these structures students build both deep understanding of the content and confidence as problem-solvers. Kathleen served on Delaware’s Rodel Teacher Council, where she helped develop a blueprint for personalized learning in Delaware. Kathleen has been a district mentor teacher, cooperating teacher for several student teachers, response to intervention coordinator, math league coach, and part of the “Teaching for A Robust Conceptual Understanding of Mathematics Project.” Kathleen has led professional development sessions at both the district and state level, and in Spring of 2019, she will present at the National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics Annual Conference. Kathleen earned a B.S. Ed. in elementary education from the University of Delaware and a M.Ed. in teacher leadership from the University of Delaware. She is a certified elementary and middle school mathematics teacher.