The Presidential Award is an unexpected honor that validates my desire to become the best educator possible to meet the needs of my students. Achieving this recognition speaks highly of my mentors, colleagues, administrators, families, and students who help hone my craft every day of every year. Without them to serve, none of this is possible. The Presidential Award is a milestone for my career that will refill my tank many times over as I continue to empower the next generation.

Luke Henke Columbus, KS | 7-12, Mathematics, 2019

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

Luke Henke has had the honor of serving as an educator since 2010. His first three years were in Pittsburg Community Middle School and the following seven years have been at Columbus Unified High School where he has taught 9th-12th grade mathematics. Luke’s natural inclination for leadership has kept him looking forward to the changes necessary to help students succeed in the 21st century. He has led workshops and discussions with his colleagues and in the surrounding area regarding educational technology and change. Projects support learning in Luke’s mathematics classroom through real-life application. Students develop personal agency as they investigate and experiment, sometimes relying on outside mentors to better help them understand problem-solving scenarios. Students have used 3D printing, drones, electronics, and robots to enhance learning. Luke has spearheaded the first concurrent coursework in Columbus and is a member of the Kansans’ Can School Redesign team. He has helped facilitate mathematics training for the Kansas Department of Education. His work as a fellow for the Association of American Educators has resulted in multiple publications as an advocate for education. Luke completed his B.S., cum laude, in mathematics education and M.S. in mathematics from Pittsburg State University. He is working to complete his National Board Certification and his doctorate in educational leadership from City University of Seattle. Luke is certified to teach mathematics, grades 6–12.