Every teacher wants to make a difference in our students’ lives. We work hard each and every second of each day to help students recognize their potential. The Presidential Award validates all the recipients’ efforts to make a positive difference in our students’ lives. Personally, the Presidential Award provides a platform to advocate for my students and the realization that mathematics is not something to endure, but something that helps us all to know and communicate with the world around us.

Natalie Darrington Nephi, UT | 7-12, Mathematics, 2019

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

Natalie Darrington has been an educator for 19 years. Currently, Natalie teaches seventh and eighth grade mathematics at Juab Junior High School. In addition to her role as a full-time mathematics teacher, she serves as an instructional coach. Previously, she spent two years teaching at Washington Elementary, three years at LaVerkin Elementary, one year at Hurricane Intermediate school, six years at Enterprise Elementary, and two years at Red Cliffs Elementary. Natalie uses a personalized approach in her classroom. Each student works at their own pace with their own specific goals. Her effectiveness in the classroom is well known in the state of Utah and by many across the nation. State legislators, Members of Congress, and the Lieutenant Governor have visited Natalie's classroom to observe how she provides a personalized learning experience. Natalie has testified on behalf of personalized learning and STEM initiatives multiple times at the State Capitol. Natalie promotes mathematics instruction through professional development across the state of Utah. As a Utah core academy facilitator, she supported the implementation of the comprehensive math instruction model. In her classroom, Natalie focuses on the implementation of mathematical practices that encourage student development as independent thinkers and assessment capable learners. She believes that as students improve using critical thinking, collaboration, communication, and creativity, they will develop a deep love and understanding of mathematics. Natalie earned a B.A. in elementary education and a M.Ed. from Southern Utah University. She is certified in elementary curriculum and secondary mathematics.