The official biography below was current at the time of the award.
Ellen McDonald has been an educator for 17 years and has spent her entire career at Walled Lake Elementary School. She has taught all subjects in kindergarten, third grade, and fourth grade. Recently, Ellen has taken on a new role as her school district’s mathematics and science instructional coach.
While Ellen enjoyed teaching all subjects, she has a particular love of mathematics. Shifting a child’s mindset so they could see themselves as a mathematician was the spark that inspired her. As a teacher, Ellen worked to incorporate real-world problem solving strategies into her daily instructions. Students collaborated, shared their thinking, and justified their reasoning strategies.
Beyond the classroom, Ellen began sharing her love of mathematics with the teachers in her building, district, and county. Her leadership among her colleagues resulted in a shift in practice. Specifically, she helped teachers embrace the Standards of Mathematical Practice and inquiry strategies. She serves on the district mathematics council, district curriculum council, and the building leadership team.
Ellen earned a B.S. in education and a M.A. in teaching in reading, both from Oakland University. She is certified to teach all subjects in kindergarten through sixth grade classrooms and mathematics and social studies in a middle school classroom.