The Presidential Award represents the best of the best within the field of education, and I am honored to be considered among their ranks. The reflective nature of this award process has truly enhanced my teaching practice. I thank my colleagues and mentors for their support in my pursuit of excellence, and I thank my students for motivating and challenging me to be the best teacher that I can be. It is my hope that watching me shoot for my goals will inspire my students to shoot for theirs.

Christine Mendoza Goodyear, AZ | 7-12, Science, 2019

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

Christine Mendoza has been an educator for 20 years and has spent the last three years teaching seventh and eighth grade science at Las Brisas Academy. Previously, she taught at Freedom Elementary School for four years, Canyon Elementary School for five years, Sheely Farms Elementary School for four years, and Porfirio H. Gonzales Elementary School for one year. In addition to her work in the formal classroom setting, Christine also spent three years in the informal education setting as the pre-college education and outreach coordinator for the National Science Foundation-funded Quantum Energy and Sustainable Solar Technologies Engineering Research Center. Christine is the co-lead of a curriculum development team for her school district. As part of this team, she works to develop units of instruction and pacing guides aligned to Arizona’s newly adopted science standards. As a member of the American Modeling Teachers Association, Christine has led several middle school modeling workshops. As a trained modeling instructor, Christine has worked to bring this once predominately high school-based method of instruction down to the middle school level. Modeling instruction has become the foundation of teaching and learning within her classroom. Christine earned a B.A. in elementary education from Arizona State University; a M.Ed. in secondary education form Northern Arizona University; and a Master of Natural Science from the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering at Arizona State University. Christine is a National Board Certified Teacher in the area of early adolescence science. She is certified in elementary education with approved areas of middle grades general science and middle grades language arts, and endorsements in English as a Second Language and middle grades 5–9.