Being recognized at the national level for the work I have done in the classroom over the last eight years is truly an honor. The Presidential Award makes me reflect on the wonderful students I have had the honor to teach and the mentors I have had along the way that have helped me become the teacher I am today. This is a reminder that the energy and work that I put in every day to share my love of mathematics is all worth it.

Jessica Macken Minneapolis, MN | 7-12, Mathematics, 2019

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

Jessica Macken is currently in her third year teaching mathematics at Hiawatha Collegiate High School. The first five years of her eight-year teaching career were in New York City, working at MS 22, Mott Hall V, and The Young Women's Leadership School of the Bronx. She currently teaches Algebra 2 to 10th-12th grade students. While she started her career in middle school mathematics, she is now in her third year as the Algebra II teacher at Hiawatha. This is Jessica's first year teaching with the College Preparatory Mathematics (CPM) curriculum, which has challenged both her students and herself to look at mathematics classrooms in a new way. The curriculum incorporates rich real-world problems and hands on experiments to build deeper understanding of the material while also allowing all students to be engaged with the material. Jessica has also served as an advisory grade level lead for the past two years, which has allowed her to work on what she believes is most important about teaching: creating a classroom and school in which students feel cared for and loved. Jessica has shared her enthusiasm and time with students through both dance and yearbook clubs, and numerous college visits on school breaks and weekends. Jessica earned a B.A., cum laude, in mathematics from Hamilton College and a M.A. in secondary mathematics education from The City College of New York. She is certified in secondary mathematics education.