To me, the Presidential Award validates the truth that dedication, commitment, and hard work eventually pay off. In my classroom, I emphasize that learning is a commitment and is a process. Learning takes time, energy, determination, and grit. Over the last 40 years, I have been dedicated to a career wherein I was determined to learn each day, become better each day, and make a difference each day. After 40 years, this award has validated that care, concern, and hard work does make a difference.

Susan Matthias Landenberg, PA | 7-12, Mathematics, 2019

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

Susan Matthias has been an educator for 40 years. For the last 12 years, she has taught seventh grade mathematics at Kennett Middle School. She previously taught at Avon Grove Charter School, Stanton Middle School, The Montgomery School, St. Joseph’s Prep, St. Margaret’s School, and St. Matthias School. Susan is a passionate teacher and her approach cultivates individual student growth mindset. Grit, resiliency, and hard work are hallmarks of her classroom culture and environment. Students in her classroom understand that making mistakes is part of learning and growing. Her lessons are always meaningful and engaging. Past students return often to reminisce about the fun they had in her mathematics class. Susan is an active member of the district's professional development committee. Additionally, she represented the middle school in the district's math standing committee which was responsible for selecting a new mathematics curriculum in 2018. She is also involved within the community serving as an executive board member for the After the Bell program–an afterschool program designed to engage middle school students in various experiences outside of the classroom such as art, cooking, sports, robotics, and more. In her spare time, Susan enjoys participating in online webinars related to her field of instruction. She recently published her first children's book called "Spell-Bound Puddles!" This read-a-loud for children of all ages encourages diversity and acceptance. Susan earned a B.S. in elementary education from St. Joseph's University and an M.Ed. in secondary education from West Chester University. She is certified in elementary education and holds a mathematics middle level certificate. She has also earned 60 post graduate credits in mathematics education.