The Presidential Award is the culmination of a career dedicated at working to give children a better understanding of mathematics concepts. The dedication and hard work of my colleagues and students has been rewarding and has shaped me into a better teacher. Teaching children is its own reward, but this award is a validation that the work I have done has truly been meaningful to my students and my school.

Kristina Sparfven Wood River Jct., RI | 7-12, Mathematics, 2017

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

Kristina Sparfven has been a teacher at Chariho Middle School for 20 years. She currently serves as a mathematics specialist, but previously taught seventh and eighth-grade mathematics. In her role as an Algebra Ready teacher, she teaches Response to Intervention to fifth through eighth-grade students. Additionally, Kristina is the fifth through eighth-grade mathematics content leader. In this role, she works with teachers to plan lessons, as well as write and implement curriculum and assessments. In Kristina's classroom, students who need support with mathematics work to develop a growth mindset and persevere through challenging problems. They work to strengthen their problem-solving skills through discussion, visualization, and learning from their mistakes. Kristina has worked on many of her state’s assessment projects including New England Common Assessment Program and Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers. She is currently a Rhode Island Learning Champion, working on a team to develop a high-quality proficiency-based learning system. Kristina earned a B.S. in elementary education from Rhode Island College and is certified in first through sixth-grade elementary education and fifth through eighth-grade mathematics.