Receiving this award is an extraordinary honor! It reinforces and validates the journey of personal and professional growth in the area of mathematics education I've been pursuing and acknowledges the many mentors who have invested in me along the way. I was the student in junior high and high school who didn't understand mathematics. When I became a teacher I was determined to change that. In turn I want to be able to help students in my classes truly understand and love it the way I do now.

Leigh Wilson Potlatch, ID | K-6, Mathematics, 2020

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

Leigh Wilson has been an educator for over 15 years and teaches sixth grade mathematics and science at Potlatch Elementary School, where she previously taught fourth grade for nine years. She taught fourth grade and K-12 Music at Riverside Preparatory School for four years, sixth grade at Vista Compana Middle School for one year, and was an Intervention Specialist for two years at Mojave Mesa Elementary School. Over the last nine years, Leigh has been a Teacher Leader, offering professional development and training to colleagues in mathematics education. She has pursued many opportunities during that time to increase her own mathematics knowledge and teaching abilities by participating in ongoing teacher training. She worked on an NSF-sponsored grant, Making Math Reasoning Explicit (MMRE), through the University of Idaho and Washington State University Mathematics Education Departments. She was a presenter at the National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics in Washington, D.C., in 2018 and continues to mentor colleagues. She works with the Idaho Regional Math Center through ongoing yearly professional development and mentoring opportunities. Making mathematics accessible and enjoyable for all her students is one of Leigh's top priorities. She creates classroom projects where students learn grade level skills by creating real-world products. Two hallmark projects she's created are the Pie Project and a Sewing Project where students learn mathematics standards and skills through cooking, baking, and sewing. Younger students eagerly awaited their turn to participate in these projects when they got to fourth grade! Leigh has a B.A. in communications from Southern Oregon University; M.Ed. from the University of Phoenix; and is a certified elementary education teacher.

Know a great teacher like Leigh Wilson?