Receiving the Presidential Award is an affirmation of the passion that I have for students, for my community, and for teaching. It is a validation of the countless hours that I have poured into developing rigorous lessons that both engage and support students. It is recognition of my students’ willingness to take academic risks and to embrace failure as opportunity for new learning. This award is empowering. It reminds us that it is through teaching and learning that we become change makers.

Kerryn Henderson Portland, OR | 7-12, Science, 2019

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

Kerryn Henderson has been an educator for 14 years and has taught science at Parkrose High School for 11 years. Previously, she taught at the Mary Erskine School for three years. She currently teaches 10th-12th grade Advanced Placement (AP) Biology and Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID). Kerryn’s goal is to create a collaborative and supportive learning community where non-traditional students successfully engage in rigorous curriculum. Students gain knowledge through hands-on activities and simulations. Kerryn incorporates talk routines, ensuring equal voice in her classroom. She runs a gamified gradebook; students earn badges as they work toward learning outcomes. Kerryn has built an AP Biology program fully representing the demographics of her school. As an instructional coach and professional learning community leader, Kerryn develops and facilitates workshops that utilize backwards design to align with Next Generation Science Standards and provide rigor and support needed for all students to reach high levels of success. As the MESA (Mathematics, Engineering, Science, Achievement) advisor, Kerryn facilitates the human-centered design process, providing opportunities for students to practice invention. She is an AVID site coordinator and is committed to helping first-generation students build skills needed to succeed in higher education. Kerryn earned a B.A., cum laude, in biology from the Clark’s Honors College, University of Oregon; a post graduate Certificate of Education from Northern College of Education; and a M.Ed. in curriculum and instruction from Concordia University. She is certified in biology, integrated science, foundational mathematics, and middle level education.