I am humbled and full of gratitude to be chosen to receive the Presidential Award. It is an honor not only for myself but for my family, school, and community. I give thanks to my family for their support and to administrators for trusting me with autonomy in my classroom. Most of all I thank my Heavenly Father for the opportunity to teach. This award validates my belief in the importance of science education and it is my hope to always hold strong to the standards set forth by the award.

Cindy Lee Bayard, NM | 7-12, Science, 2017

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

Cindy Lee has been a science educator for 26 years at Snell Middle School. She currently teaches seventh and eighth grade Life Science, Physical Science and Science Tech. Her motto is “Science is a verb!” Her students are engaged in science learning as soon as they enter her classroom. She has acquired numerous grants to fund innovative projects and activities in her classroom, including having students apply for "science jobs" and work in a different area of science each day. Cindy also coaches Science Olympiad and is a Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA) advisor with many successful student teams. Cindy has presented at district, state, and national conferences and conducted workshops for the Golden Apple Foundation of New Mexico. She has served on committees to evaluate state standards, review instructional materials, and implementation of new standards for science education. She is a member of the New Mexico Science Teachers Association and the Science Leadership Team for her school district. During her career, Cindy has been selected as teacher of the year for Snell Middle School, Outstanding MESA Advisor for New Mexico, and has received the Golden Apple Award. Cindy earned a B.A. in botany and M.A.T. in secondary education from Western New Mexico University. She has an instructional leadership certification with a K-12 endorsement in science.