I am so honored to have received the prestigious Presidential Award. Teaching is a profession that draws passionate, intelligent, talented individuals. To be distinguished among such accomplished educators is a privilege like no other. For me, this award is a tribute to the lifelong learner. Being in "student-mode" as a teacher allows teachers to see education from both sides of the lens. This holistic perspective of learning leads to unparalleled growth for students and teachers.

Deborah Nipar Chandler, AZ | 7-12, Science, 2017

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

Deborah Nipar has been an educator for 26 years and has spent the last 20 years teaching at Hamilton High School in the Chandler Unified School District (CUSD). Prior to that, she spent five years teaching junior high science classes at Casa Grande Junior High School in the Casa Grande Elementary School District and Willis Junior High in CUSD. Deborah currently teaches 10-12th-grade AP Chemistry, Honors Science Research, and AP Research. Deborah brought chemistry modeling to Hamilton and is a firm believer in the modeling curriculum. Her students are exposed to labs and demonstrations that allow them to make sense of the microscopic world by observing and measuring macroscopic data. In her classroom, students whiteboard and discuss ideas with Deborah acting as facilitator. Students not only understand chemistry better, but are able to articulate and defend experiments and problem-solving strategies. Deborah’s students from her Honors Science Research class participate in the Intel Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) since 2004. Because of this success, she has been asked to present information about her program at two ISEF Southwest Educator Academies. Deborah earned a B.A. in education from Arizona State University and a M.Ed. from Northern Arizona University. She is certified in biology, chemistry, and general science.