This award is validation for my belief in children; they will succeed in mathematics if given the right problems to solve in their own way in an environment where it is safe to take risks. It is a tribute to all my students who have done just that and taught me so much. It is a testament to the phenomenal teachers I’ve observed and the mentors I’ve been lucky to have. The Presidential Award is an incredible, humbling honor and recognition for teaching in a way about which I feel so passionate.

Sarah Rand Richmond, KS | K-6, Mathematics, 2018

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

Sarah Rand has taught at Central Heights Elementary School for the past five years. She spent her first three years in education teaching second grade at Success Academy Charter Schools in New York City where she was trained in Cognitively Guided Instruction. Sarah started at Central Heights as the Title 1 Mathematics teacher. In this position she visited kindergarten through fifth grade classrooms daily to teach CGI, sharing her passion for allowing children to solve problems using their own strategies and to develop those strategies over time. She also provided CGI in-service for elementary teachers. Sarah has been a third-grade teacher for the past four years. She strives to make her classroom a place where students build true number sense and work flexibly to solve problems in ways that make sense to them. The third-grade team won Kansas’ Challenge Award for “schools that are making a notable difference in student achievement despite facing significant challenges in their school population.” Sarah served on the Math Curriculum Selection Committee, she cowrote her district’s Science Curriculum Map and she is a member of the District Improvement Team. Sarah earned a B.A. in human resources from Ottawa University and a M.A.T. from the University of Southern California. She is a certified elementary school teacher with an endorsement in English to Speakers of Other Languages.