The Presidential Award represents the highest level of achievement for a science teacher whose curiosity and enthusiasm grew in the rural woods of West Virginia. Riding alongside my father throughout my childhood, I learned when to pick wild berries, how to know the health of a stream by what we found under the rocks, and which animal left which tracks. The Presidential Award humbles the educator in me and sparks passionate gratitude to the child of the West Virginia hills I still feel within.

Angela McKeen Clarksburg, WV | 7-12, Science, 2019

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

Angela McKeen has taught in public and private schools for 11 years and taught in higher education for six years. She spent the past four years at Notre Dame High School where she teaches Honors Physics, Earth and Space Science, Advanced Placement Environmental Science, and Honors Chemistry to 9th-12th grades. Angela worked as a science instructor and science coordinator at St. Mary’s Central School for four years. She began her career at Valley High School teaching science and English for three years. Angela’s enthusiasm for the natural world is reflected in her yearly science camps. While working with disadvantaged youth in rural West Virginia, Angela began running her own science camps. Most recently, she was awarded a grant from West Virginia Science and Research, a division of the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission (WVHEPC) to offer an environmental camp. Angela’s excitement for teaching science and her active participation in all levels of science education have made her an excellent professional development provider. Several of her earth science lessons have been published. Her dissertation explored teaching science using aspects of the arts in rural Appalachian classrooms. Angela presented to the Maryland Higher Education Consortium at Johns Hopkins University with a colleague on using trade books to teach science content at the university level. Recently, she was asked to present at a statewide diocesan conference on teaching rigorous science in Catholic schools. Angela earned her B.A. in secondary education at Fairmont State University and her M.A. in science education at West Virginia University (WVU). She also holds a doctorate in curriculum & instruction from WVU. Angela is certified in chemistry, earth and space science, and general science.