I am so very honored and humbled by the recognition of the Presidential Award. This recognition affirms my passion for helping young people develop an understanding of the world around them and a love of science. I am so thankful for the support of my family, my friends, my colleagues and, most of all, the many students who have helped to shape me into the teacher I am today. I love teaching and this award inspires me to continue to grow in the profession that I love.

Jennifer Childress Anchorage, AK | 7-12, Science, 2017

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

Jennifer Childress has taught for over 20 years. She has spent the last 14 years teaching science and engineering courses at Dimond High School. She currently teaches 11-12th-grade Physics and Advanced Placement Physics. Previously, Jennifer taught at Cordova Junior/High School and Mears Middle School. Jennifer is passionate about helping students connect the concepts learned in a physics classroom with their life experiences. She incorporates many everyday applications of physics concepts in her teaching and encourages her students to contribute observations of physics they see happening in the world. Jennifer helped found the Engineering Academy at Dimond High. She is one of two teachers that developed and ran a program called Smart Girls Rock! The program exposes freshman and sophomore girls to female engineers from Anchorage. The goal of this program is to encourage young women to pursue STEM careers. Jennifer co-presented a workshop on the Smart Girls Rock! program at a meeting of the Society of Women Engineers in 2013. Jennifer serves as the chairperson for Dimond's Advanced Placement (AP) Committee and organizes full-length practice AP testing for over 300 students. Jennifer earned a B.S., cum laude, in physical science from Humboldt State University. She is certified in physical science education, science education, mathematics education and elementary education.