I am honored and humbled to be a recipient of the Presidential Award. This award honors and celebrates the collaboration and dedication of many colleagues, administrators, students, and families who have supported, encouraged, and inspired me daily. I am proud of the work that the educators in my district do each day for our students. Receiving this award fuels my passion for teaching and my commitment to being a life-long learner.

Cheri DeSoto Fayetteville, AR | K-6, Science, 2018

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

Cheri DeSoto has been an educator for 26 years. Cheri has taught science and social studies at Holt Middle School for the past four years. She previously taught at West Fork Elementary School for 17 years, Vandergriff Elementary for one year, and Butterfield Elementary for four years. Cheri strives to make science relevant to all her students. She does this by allowing them ownership over their learning within the science curriculum. Students explore and discuss science and are asked to relate it to their world, helping them understand their role as global citizens. She is most proud of her partnership with the Ozark Natural Science Center. It has allowed her district to immerse their students in authentic science learning and experience how daily decisions impact the world in which they live. Cheri serves on the district’s science curriculum task force. She is Holt’s School Level Improvement Plan (SLIP) Committee Chairperson. Cheri is also a mentor for the UAteach Program at the University of Arkansas. Cheri earned a B.S.Ed. in kindergarten through sixth grade elementary education, a middle school Social Studies Endorsement, a master's of elementary education, a Reading Specialist degree, K-12, and an ESL Certification/Endorsement, all from the University of Arkansas. She is a certified middle school teacher and is certified in kindergarten through sixth grade curriculum.