The Presidential Award is an incredible honor and a validation of how important our role is in educating our youth. Reflecting on my educational opportunities, I realize how fortunate I am to live in a country with endless possibilities, where education is both valued and respected. As citizens, we are lucky to have the freedom to ask questions, seek answers, develop problem solving skills, and create unique solutions. Thank you for this honor.

Lisa Holt-Taylor Milford, OH | K-6, Science, 2018

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

Lisa Holt-Taylor has been an educator for 16 years, spending that time at Boyd E. Smith Elementary, first as a school counselor, then as a second-grade teacher. For the past seven years, she has taught third grade science and social studies. Lisa seeks to develop her students’ passion for science through hands-on learning. Her participation in experiential professional development in Belize, Guyana, Galapagos, the Great Barrier Reef, and Alaska helps her incorporate science inquiry, engineering, and global awareness into lessons that spark student curiosity. To prepare students for a world of technology, Lisa integrates engineering projects in her instruction and started a LEGO club. Lisa has been published in the National Science Teachers Association's Science and Children, and presented at their conference. She gave a travel series talk on the Galapagos and spoke at a teacher workshop on science inquiry. Lisa earned a B.S. in nursing from Eastern Kentucky University, a M.Ed. and school counseling certification from Xavier University, a M.A.T. in biological sciences from Miami University, and will complete a Distinguished STEM Leadership certification through NASA in 2019. She is certified in elementary education, first through eighth grade, and school counseling, K-12. Past awards include Educator of the Year from Hixson Inc. and Clermont County Soil and Water.