The Presidential Award is an exciting and humbling achievement. It is an honor to be considered for this award because it validates efforts to consistently improve teaching practices to provide students with positive, authentic learning opportunities. This is a reflection of outstanding science educators and mentors that guided my journey and supportive district leadership who encouraged professional growth. The Presidential Award shows my students that they can dream big and reach their goals.

Karla White Bethany, OK | K-6, Science, 2020

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

Karla White has been in education for 20 years. Since 2017, she has served as the Fifth Grade Science/STEM teacher at Bethany Earl Harris Elementary School. Prior to her current position, she taught science, reading, mathematics, social studies, and STEM at Rollingwood Elementary School in Putnam City for nine years. She has also taught at Western Oaks Elementary School in Putnam City and Columbus Enterprise Elementary School in the Oklahoma City Public School system. Karla's passion for science and STEM extended throughout Bethany Public Schools as she was instrumental in bringing robotics and a Family STEM Night to the elementary STEM program. Karla assisted in creating summer STEM camps and afterschool programs to provide access to quality sources for all students at Earl Harris Elementary. Karla also served on the board for Oklahoma Science Teaching Association (OSTA). As president of OSTA, Karla served Oklahoma science teachers through professional development, online resources, and social media support. As a teacher, she has supported teachers through the OK Excel Program and presented innovative science practices and initiatives to teachers across the state. Karla earned a B.A. in elementary education at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma and is currently working on an M.Ed. in educational leadership from Oklahoma State University. She is certified in elementary education.

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