The Presidential Award means a great deal to me. Not only does this award convey the highest level of recognition as a science educator, it also symbolizes appreciation for the level of commitment, dedication, innovation, and hard work required to be a successful teacher. More so, this award signifies to me that following your heart, doing what you love, and being passionate about it is the most fulfilling path to success.

LeShundra Young Madison, MS | 7-12, Science, 2019

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

Leshundra Young has been an educator for nine years. She has spent the last seven years of her teaching tenure teaching at Germantown High School, where she currently teaches 9th-10th grade Biology 1 and 10th-12th grade Advanced Placement (AP) Biology. She previously taught science at Sylvester V. Marshall High School for two years. Leshundra’s approach to teaching revolves around varied and inclusive instructional methods. She consistently uses tactile, visual, and real-world methods to relay content to her students. This has included inviting a local animal enthusiast to bring animals into the classroom during a zoology unit, spearheading a collaboration with a local university to have students speak with science department chairs and participate in a laboratory investigation, and requiring students to assist with science demonstrations at the local elementary schools. Extending her passion for education beyond the classroom, Leshundra inspires her classes to support the Salvation Army angel tree project yearly. She also created a document to report subject area test scores to parents. This document is now used by the entire district. Leshundra currently serves as the president-elect of Mississippi Presidential Awardees in Science Teaching, science Department Chair, science club sponsor, member of Germantown High’s leadership development team, and as a new teacher mentor for the University of Mississippi’s Outreach and Continuing Educations Teach Mississippi Institute. Leshundra has a B.S., cum laude, in biology from Mississippi College and a M.Ed., summa cum laude, from the University of Phoenix. She is a National Board Certified Teacher and is certified in 7–12 biology, 7–12 chemistry, 7–12 general sciences, AP biology, and AP chemistry.