The Presidential Award elevates the profession by recognizing and celebrating the work that educators are doing to better their students, schools, and communities. I am honored and humbled to be among this distinguished group. I thank my mentors, colleagues, and family for their contributions to my professional growth. I also thank my students for challenging and inspiring me to be a better educator, and for reminding me why the work that we do is so important.

Alison Espinosa Columbia, SC | 7-12, Mathematics, 2017

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

Alison Espinosa has been teaching mathematics for 12 years. She recently relocated to Highland High School, where she teaches 9-10th-grade Mathematics I and II. Alison moved to Utah from South Carolina, where she taught Advanced Placement Calculus and International Baccalaureate Mathematics at A.C. Flora High School for eight years and at Wando High School for three years. Alison incorporates modeling and project-based learning strategies to motivate student investigation. Her students’ favorite projects include building catapults and instruments to study quadratic and circular functions. She has shared these strategies by serving on district and state leadership committees, presenting at the South Carolina Council of Teachers of Mathematics and the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics annual conferences and institutes, and through published works. In July 2018, she co-facilitated a three-day Knowles Academy workshop at the University of the Virgin Islands on incorporating the engineering design cycle into mathematics and science instruction. Alison earned a B.S., magna cum laude, in mathematics from the University of South Carolina Honors College, a M.T. from the University of South Carolina, and is a third-year doctoral student in curriculum and instruction. She is a Knowles Initiative Senior Fellow and is National Board Certified in Adolescent/Young Adult Mathematics.