Before her death my friend Lizz Thomas, a past Presidential Award winner, made me promise to apply for this award. It's not just the recognition, she assured me, but also a way to help promote science education throughout the State. Receiving this award will help me to continue many of the things that she had tried to do through teacher-training, core-writing, and helping others. It is an honor to be chosen, the recognition has been a fun surprise, and it is a forever reminder of a great friend.

Vickie Ahlstrom Lehi, UT | K-6, Science, 2008

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

An educator for 10 years in the Alpine School District, Vickie Ahlstrom has spent the last two years at Sego Lily Elementary School, where she teaches high-ability and certified gifted sixth grade students from throughout the district. Teaching a class of 30 accelerated students requires Mrs. Ahlstrom's advanced thinking and teaching abilities. She established a Science Demo Team of sixth grade students from all classes who develop their own lessons and demonstrations. The team then teaches them to first graders. She empowers her students to ask questions. For example, one of her students felt comfortable questioning a physics lesson, and Mrs. Ahlstrom took the time to retest the demonstration equipment to answer the student's question. She also incorporates science throughout the curriculum; during language arts, she asked her students to share their knowledge of astronomy by writing an essay about whether Pluto should be reinstated as a planet. Mrs. Ahlstrom contributed to the development and delivery of the Elementary CORE Academy as a facilitator, providing science and mathematics professional development to other teachers and aligning it with the Utah curriculum. In this capacity, her ability to interact and connect with teachers demonstrates her love of learning and sharing knowledge. She has received many awards and grants in recognition of her work. Mrs. Ahlstrom has an A.S. in library media technology and a B.S. in elementary education from Brigham Young University. She also has an M.S. in elementary education from Utah State University. She is National Board Certified in early adolescent science.

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