The Presidential Award recognizes all the diverse people who have fueled my pursuit toward positive lasting influence on students in our collective attempt to improve the human condition. My students, colleagues, and friends who work hard and enthusiastically are a large part of this honor. I am humbled and energized by this award. Above all, this award recognizes my students and their attempts to think like scientists and not just learn about science. I look forward to continuing my learning!

John Gensic Mishawaka, IN | 7-12, Science, 2017

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

John Gensic, an educator of 14 years, has taught science at Penn High School for the past five years. He currently teaches 12th-grade Dual Credit Biology and serves as the STEM Academy Leader. He has also taught at New Prairie High School and St. Adalbert Catholic School. John’s passion for people, opportunities, and nature have led to visions of what is possible for students. John then relentlessly grinds to help realize those visions, often making others say “no” more than once. He loves showing students and teachers things they’ve not seen or noticed before. Among other activities, this love takes the form of field trips and tree plantings each year where he often writes grants to help equitably cover costs. He shares his love of Lake Michigan with students and was fortunate to research the EPA’s Lake Guardian research vessel in 2015. John has participated in multiple National Science Foundation-funded Research Experiences for Teachers (RET), is an Instructional Coach for the Trustey Family STEM Teaching Fellows, and a TeachPlus Senior Teaching Research and Policy Fellow. John earned a B.S. in chemistry from the University of St. Francis and a M.Ed. from the University of Notre Dame. He is a certified 6-12th-grade science teacher.