It is a great pleasure to be a part of the Presidential Award program. This is a huge honor for me, my family, students from my school, and all other people who supported me to win this award. Receiving this national award will inspire me to continue my passion in teaching and dedication in doing more STEM projects in my school and community. I look forward to working with all other winners to improve my teaching strategies to enhance students’ learning in science and to protect our ecosystem.

Lali Thundiyil Yigo, GU | 7-12, Science, 2019

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

Lali Thundiyil joined the Guam Department of Education (GDOE) 23 years ago as a geology teacher at FB Leon Guerrero (FBLG) Middle School and, after one year, he began teaching seventh grade Life Science, which he continues to teach today. Additionally, from 1998 to 2002, Lali worked at Juan Maria Guerrero Elementary School as a Department of Education Extended Day (DEED) program teacher. Prior to becoming a teacher, Lali worked as a research assistant at the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at the University of Guam (UOG). He assisted on many biological control projects, authored and coauthored publications and presented research papers at the 13th and 16th College of Arts and Science conferences at UOG. Lali uses cooperative learning, outcome-based instruction, and confluent education in his classroom. In addition, he takes his classes outside to collect plant and animal specimens for hands-on experiences. Lali is currently the adviser of the FBLG 4H science & beautification club. His collaboration with the UOG 4H program helps him teach many STEM projects and various life skills. Lali was awarded four grants for eco-friendly projects, and in 2013 he was honored by KUAM CareForce with their Think Green Honor Award. In 2018, he was awarded with My Favorite Teacher award from the Guam Sylvan Learning Institute. In 2019, the University of Guam outreach and extension program awarded him with their Friend of UOG Extension Award. Lali immigrated to Guam in 1988 and became a U.S. citizen in 1996. He received both his B.S. and M.S. in botany from the University of Kerala in India. In 1997, Lali completed all the secondary school teaching certification courses from the University of Guam to be classified as” highly qualified teacher” in the GDOE.