Professionalism and reflective work: the Presidential Award values these two ideals and rewards teachers who embody them. The process of applying for the Presidential Award has been the most rewarding experience of my career. The time spent to develop, implement, record, reflect on, and remediate one lesson has made me a better teacher and learner. I now approach each aspect of my teaching and learning through this lens. I am now a stronger teacher and my students are better learners.

Brian Shay San Diego, CA | 7-12, Mathematics, 2019

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

Brian Shay has been an educator for more than 20 years and has spent the last 16 years teaching mathematics at Canyon Crest Academy. He previously taught mathematics for two years at La Costa Canyon High School and for two years at River City High School. Brian currently teaches Integrated Math 2, Advanced Placement (AP) Calculus AB, AP Calculus BC, Calculus 3, and Elementary Linear Algebra to 9th-12th grade students. He is an adjunct instructor in mathematics at the University of California, San Diego. Brian designs his classes to feel like a seminar where questions are asked, students talk, play, and debate solution strategies, and the content is connected to authentic and technologically rich experiences that are relevant to student interests. Brian believes that students learn best by discovering mathematics and finding their agency through mathematics. Brian speaks at many regional and national conferences and focuses on teaching mathematics by creating an environment that is engaging and exploratory for all students. He serves on numerous local, state, and national committees focused on different aspects of mathematics teaching. He is passionate about providing professional learning for teachers and has chaired committees for the California Mathematics Council and the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. Brian is enthusiastic about mentoring new teachers and has mentored early career teachers with Math for America San Diego and the Park City Math Institute. Brian earned a B.A. in mathematics, summa cum laude, and a M.A. in mathematics from State University of New York, Potsdam. He also earned a M.A. in mathematics and a M.A.T. in mathematics from University of California, Davis. He is certified to teach secondary mathematics, theatre, and vocal music.