The Presidential Award is validation of time spent writing grants to purchase resources, developing relationships with community members to make experiences more authentic, learning the skills needed to offer the latest technology, and exploring strategies to ensure all students' needs are met. The work of continuous improvement is tough but infinitely rewarding. It is awesome that by doing what you love, you are able to receive recognition that will support your ongoing efforts to do even more.

David McDowell Maysville, KY | K-6, Science, 2020

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

David “Brian” McDowell is currently a STEM and science teacher at Highlands Middle School in northern Kentucky. He spent the previous seventeen years of his 26-year teaching tenure facilitating STEM and science experiences for Mason County Middle School. At Brian’s previous school, he developed the Teaching in the Margins trail. Margin activities included a dinosaur trackway, bone assemblage, bird blind, and others, all intended to foster excitement, spontaneity, and improvisation to prompt students to take risks. Using the dinosaur trackway as inspiration, he co-authored an article for the NSTA's Science Scope called "Making Sense of Dinosaur Tracks." Brian has received the Kentucky Science Teachers Association’s Middle School Teacher of the Year Award; NSTA’s Inquiry Based Teaching Award; NSTA's Robert E. Yager Exemplary Teaching Award; and has been awarded more than $70,000 in grants. Brian has a B.S. and Master's in Biological Education from Miami University of Ohio. He achieved his National Board Certification in Early Adolescence/Science in 2011 and re-certified in 2020.

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