"Teaching is not a profession, it's a passion". This quote by John F. Podojil captures the essence of my career as an educator. Receiving the Presidential Award speaks to my commitment to provide every student I serve with the best I have to offer, to help instill in them a love for learning, and to be the example for the teachers that look to me for guidance. To be recognized for the work we do as teachers is very humbling. I'm honored to be part of such an amazing group of educators.

Charles Hayes Memphis, TN | K-6, Science, 2020

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

Charles Hayes has been an educator for 25 years and has spent the last eight years teaching fifth grade science at Highland Oaks Elementary School. He previously taught at Downtown Elementary School for six years, A. Maceo Walker Middle School for five years, and Gardenview Elementary School for his first six years as a teacher. As a part of his professional commitment to become a better teacher for his students and a resource for his colleagues, Charles serves as a member of NSTA's Urban Science Education Advisory Board; a member of the Instructional Leadership Team for kindergarten through fifth grade science teachers at Highland Oaks Elementary; a professional development presenter for Shelby County Schools; a founding member of the Shelby County Schools STEM Teacher Leader Fellows Program cohort (STLFP); and the District 12 representative for the Tennessee Science Teachers Association Board of Directors. Charles strives to make science interesting and relevant to the everyday lives of his students. As a result, he has served as a partner with St. Jude Children's Research Hospital’s afterschool STEM program for fifth graders; has written a grant to introduce 3-D printing to third through fifth grade students; and co-sponsors an initiative to maintain the learning garden granted to Highland Oaks Elementary by Big Green, a national non-profit agency. Charles earned a B.B.A. in management information systems and an M.S. in instruction and curriculum leadership from the University of Memphis. He is certified in kindergarten through eighth grade education.

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