Being considered for the Presidential Award is a humbling honor. Millions of teachers spend untold hours of their own time honing their craft. We do this entirely for the satisfaction of seeing students achieve with no expectation of any outside recognition. It is a high compliment to all educators when any one of us is recognized at such a high level for our devotion and drive to help students succeed. I hope to represent all of us well.

Matthew Pederson Eatonville, WA | K-6, Mathematics, 2018

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

Matthew "Matt" Pederson has been teaching for over 20 years and has spent the last eight years at Weyerhaeuser Elementary School. For the past year, Matt has been a teacher on special assignment with a focus on mathematics. During this time, he has provided coaching and modeling lessons for teachers. He also taught enrichment and remediation lessons to students in kindergarten through fifth grade. Matt previously taught for seven years each at McKenna Elementary School and Mill Pond Intermediate School. Matt's passion for teaching in general, and engaging mathematics instruction in particular, extends beyond his own classroom. He regularly provides building and district professional development as well as presenting at regional and national conferences. For several years, Matt has served as a district mentor for new teachers, and has recently taken on responsibility for coordinating the district mentor program. He is also a member of the Washington State Mathematics Council and will soon begin serving on the council's Board of Directors. Matt earned a B.A. from Pacific Lutheran University and a master’s in teaching from City University. He is certified as a kindergarten through eighth grade teacher.