Receiving this award is empowering! It validates the power of students as problem solvers; by providing a variety of tools and opportunities, success in mathematics can be accessible to all. This award belongs to my students, who weren't afraid to dive right in with me. It is a thank you to my incredible mentors, for their patience and encouragement. It also belongs to my colleagues, with gratitude for their collaboration. And to my family, for their love and excitement.

Megan Smith Corona, CA | K-6, Mathematics, 2018

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

Megan Smith has been an educator in the Corona-Norco Unified School District for 13 years. She has spent the past nine years teaching fifth grade at Lincoln Fundamental Elementary School, a magnet school. Recently, Megan has relished the opportunity to focus on mathematics instruction, as part of a team teaching model, as well as providing instruction in science and social studies. Megan has served as school coordinator for the gifted and talented program for eight years. She previously taught for four years at Wilson Elementary School. As a student, Megan struggled with mathematics, so she is exceptionally passionate about making it accessible and anxiety-free for all students. Her classroom environment is inviting and innovative, using flexible seating options that encourage real-world, task-based collaborative investigations. Megan has shared her teaching practices with her district colleagues as a professional development co-presenter, as well as assisting as a curriculum trainer. She has served on several district committees for curriculum adoption, as well as creating support materials and assessments used district-wide. Megan earned a B.A. in psychology and social behavior and was also awarded a M.A. in teaching from the University of California, Irvine. Megan holds a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential and is certified to teach kindergarten through sixth grades.