The official biography below was current at the time of the award.
Amy Leising has been an educator for 20 years and has spent the past eight years teaching science at the Zoo Academy , a multi-district high school partnership located at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium. She began her career in informal education as a teacher-naturalist at Pioneers Park Nature Center and then spent 10 years as a biology, advanced placement biology, and earth science teacher at Bryan High School. She currently teaches 11th-12th grade Environmental Science, Veterinary Science, Advanced Zoo Research, and Zoo Operations.
An enthusiasm for sharing the natural world is an obvious influence in Amy’s teaching as she uses the zoo to help students investigate science processes by taking them into zoo exhibits and bringing zoo examples into her classroom. She especially enjoys allowing students to use modeling and local conservation challenges to help them understand abstract ideas in tangible ways and to make their own, local impact.
Amy spends her summers involved in field-based professional development opportunities as well as assisting in the development of new curriculum for her school district. She routinely assists in facilitating professional development for teachers in the Omaha Public Schools and has also presented at regional conferences for science teachers.
Amy earned a B.S. in fisheries and wildlife and a Master of Secondary Teaching, both from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln. She is a certified teacher in biology.