Ever since I can remember, I have wanted to be a teacher. As I taught over the years, I gravitated towards teaching science, a subject that helps my students understand their place in the world around them. Receiving the Presidential Award means that my professional journey has brought a quality teaching experience to my students and school. This would not have been possible without all the excellent teachers and mentors I have had along the way.

Lisa Swenson New Orleans, LA | K-6, Science, 2018

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

Lisa Swenson began her teaching career in 2003. Since 2009, she has been in her current position teaching sixth grade science at Isidore Newman School. She previously taught at Fowler Drive Elementary School for three years, Northwoods Elementary School for one year, and Wilson Charter School for two years. Lisa embraces her school’s motto of “learn to do by doing.” She collaborates with the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation to help monitor the water quality at a local bayou. She incorporates service learning, design thinking, and environmental stewardship into this partnership as well as within her class. She instills the love of science in her students, encouraging a desire to make a positive difference. Lisa has presented at numerous conferences, focusing on the National Boards process and other topics from her classroom. In 2018, Lisa was awarded the Louisiana Middle School Science Teacher of the Year. She was also named Outstanding Earth Science Teacher in 2015 by the National Earth Science Teachers Association. Lisa earned a B.S. and a M.Ed. in elementary education specializing in middle school science from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, as well as a M.S. in geosciences from Mississippi State University. She is a National Board Certified Teacher and is certified in kindergarten through fifth grade elementary education and sixth through eighth grade science.