The Presidential Award represents the pinnacle of excellence in science teaching. Winning this award means I made it to the top! Years ago, I started working toward my purpose of changing the way science is taught in America. I focused on students doing science rather than memorizing content. These changes improved my students' skills, such as writing and scientific thinking. Winning this award will help me highlight more powerful methods of teaching. I am honored to be a PAEMST awardee.

Tanya Katovich Hoffman Estates, IL | 7-12, Science, 2019

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

Tanya Katovich has been teaching science for 26 years. She has spent the past nine years teaching first-year chemistry and Advanced Placement Chemistry at Hoffman Estates High School. She previously taught science at Schaumburg High School for 17 years. As a teacher she embraces her inner geek with a goal of making students passionate about learning. She emphasizes a student-centered classroom where teenagers do science every day. Tanya loves bringing the real-world into her chemistry classroom and incorporates activities that provide students with rigor and scientific skills. Tanya is the Vice President of Northern Illinois Science Educators (NISE), a non-profit organization that helps K–12 teachers integrate the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and STEM curriculum into their science classrooms. Tanya enjoys teaching workshops to science teachers. These workshops provide hands-on experience with inquiry labs, fun demonstrations, and curriculum development. Tanya has also collaborated with Northwestern University on their iLabs Network and Duke University on their Pharmacology Education Partnerships. She co-teaches the chemistry summer institute for high school teachers at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory. Recently, Tanya became a 2020 Illinois Teacher of the Year Finalist. Tanya earned a B.S. in chemistry from the University of Notre Dame, a M.S. in chemistry from DePaul University, and a M.S. in education administration from Northern Illinois University. She is also a National Board Certified Teacher.