Alyssa Wood, Science Teacher, Receives Presidential Award


In July 2018, Science teacher Alyssa Wood was officially recognized at the White House with the presidential award for teaching excellence in Science from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and the National Science Foundation, the highest honor in the United States for K-12 science teachers. In 2016 Alyssa was honored at the state level, which kicked off a rigorous two-year vetting process for this national award.

The PAEMST program recognizes outstanding teachers for their contributions to the teaching and learning of mathematics and science.  Each awardee received a citation signed by the President and a $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation. 

Alyssa was one of only 140 individuals in the entire country (two from Rhode Island) to earn this honor. She returned home to a certificate of special recognition from Governor Gina Raimondo.

Alyssa’s excellence as a teacher was also featured in the July issue of Science Scope, the magazine of the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA). The article recounts research on teaching science that was conducted in Alyssa’s Sophia Academy classroom; from observing Alyssa’s teaching, the researcher identified of principles and best practices for ensuring all students, regardless of race, gender, or socioeconomic background, develop “positive, science-linked identities.”

The Presidential Award, for me, honors my commitment to create authentic and memorable learning opportunities for my students. Together we ask questions and solve problems to gain understanding of the world around and beyond us, and to become informed thinkers in society. The ultimate satisfaction as an educator is to bear witness to the energy and excitement that consumes the classroom as students are on the brink of discovery and wonderment.
— Alyssa Wood