The Presidential Award helped me become a more reflective practitioner and has opened new avenues for me in the field of science education. Today, I am not only a science educator, but also a teacher leader, mentor, and professional development facilitator. I am a passionate advocate for enhancing science education across all grade levels and I feel reinvigorated as an educator after completing this journey. I truly enjoy taking on more leadership responsibilities in my school community.

Kelly Jakab-Muller Yonkers, NY | 7-12, Science, 2019

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

Kelly Jakab-Muller has been advocating for science education for 18 years. She has spent the last 10 years teaching at Riverside High School and previously taught at Roosevelt High School for five years and A.B. Davis Middle School for three years. Currently, Kelly teaches ninth grade Earth Science and 11th-12th grade Living Environment Studies and Earth Science Studies. She serves as the science Department Representative. As the teacher coordinator for the pathways of technology for early college high school program (P-Tech), Kelly plans events and activities for approximately 120 high school students ranging from grades 9–12. While mentoring these students, Kelly ensures that each one is on target to earn an Applied Associates Degree from Westchester Community College in less than two years following graduation. Kelly coordinates activities for students through her summer enrichment academy aligned to the mission and vision of Riverside High School for engineering and computer design. Kelly emphasizes to students the importance of practicing professional skills such as collaboration, public speaking, and time management. Kelly built a partnership with the Hudson River Museum to enhance student learning. She worked closely with museum educators to provide professional development opportunities for teachers and to plan student activities using museum exhibits that expose students to art and science beyond the classroom walls. Kelly earned a B.S. in biology from Iona College; a M.A.T. in biology from Fordham University; and a M.S. Ed. from Pace University. She is a certified high school biology and earth science teacher in addition to having both school building and school district leadership certifications.