The Presidential Award means receiving the highest level of recognition by scholarly leaders for hard work, effort, and energy invested into educating students. It is validation and appreciation for those who serve in a profession that does not often award extraneous accolades or honors. The award serves as a powerful inspiration for novice and veteran educators to continue to grow and share learning in mathematics and science.

Elise Catalano Rye, NH | 7-12, Mathematics, 2017

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

Elise Catalano has been a middle school mathematics teacher for 25 years and has spent the last year teaching sixth-grade mathematics at the Cooperative Middle School where she is also the Mathcounts coach. She previously taught eighth-grade mathematics at Rye Junior High and Barnard School. Elise is an advocate for the enhancement of mathematics education. She has developed and enriched comprehensive, rigorous, and progressive mathematics curricula, including a full mathematics curriculum, a summer mathematics camp for low achieving students, and an enrichment curriculum for high achieving students. She has mentored pre-service, in-service, and first-year teachers to improve educational practices for middle school instructors. Elise has provided multiple workshops on mathematics, middle level, and competency-based education. Most recently, she presented at the 2018 iNACOL Symposium in Nashville, Tennessee on making the transition from a traditional teacher-centered mathematics classroom to a more student-centered classroom in a competency-based educational model. Elise earned her B.S., cum laude, in middle school mathematics education from Keene State College, M.Ed. in technology education from Lesley College, and Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies in curriculum and instruction from Northcentral University. She is certified as a middle school mathematics educator.