Being a Presidential Awardee is an exceptional honor. This award also recognizes the innovative teachers at our school who have prepared students to love mathematics and science before they get to my fifth-grade class. I am grateful to share my love of learning and passion for mathematics and science with a class full of curious students and to seek authentic opportunities for them, as a way for them to connect and engage with their community while they become thoughtful, divergent thinkers.

Deirdre Abrams Donnelly, ID | K-6, Science, 2018

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

Deirdre Abrams has been an educator for 23 years and has taught at Donnelly Elementary School for the past 12 years. She currently teaches all subjects to her fifth-grade class. Previously, she taught at Payette Lakes Middle School and McCall Elementary School. Deirdre’s students engage in place-based learning, raise rainbow trout, have built and maintain a pollinator garden and insect hotel, have taken part in a wolverine population study with Idaho Fish and Game, and have carried out a local cattle study to improve water quality in nearby streams. Her students are benefactors of the nearby Boulder Creek, where they collect annual water quality data to share with government agencies. Deirdre has taught workshops on creating a student-centered classroom at Boise State University and has been featured as a “best practices” speaker at STEM conferences. She has co-authored two articles in the National Science Teachers Association Science & Children journal and recently had a column featured in Green Schools Catalyst Quarterly. Deirdre was the 2011 Idaho recipient of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Educators. Deirdre earned a B.A. in elementary education from the University of Montana and a M.Ed. in curriculum and instruction from Boise State University. She is certified in kindergarten through eighth grade elementary education.