The Presidential Award is a symbol of teaching excellence. I work with many excellent teachers who are deserving of recognition and I am humbled to receive this honor. The award process is a reflective journey of professional development and I am a better teacher as a result. It honors my students and families, colleagues, and administrators that believed in me and I am thankful for their support. The greatest reward in my teaching is to see my students succeed in their learning.

Jason Daniels Soldotna, AK | K-6, Science, 2020

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

Jason Daniels has spent his 23-year career teaching at Kalifornsky Beach Elementary School. During his tenure, he has taught third through sixth grades. In the 2020-2021 school year, Jason taught remotely the entire year for families in three local elementary schools, teaching fourth through sixth graders. In 2012, he traveled to Australia as a Victorian international teaching fellow, teaching for a year in Wodonga, Victoria. Jason's focus on his students is evident in his classroom. Using an inquiry-based approach to learning, he places students in the driver’s seat as they ask questions and seek understanding of science topics. In Jason's classroom, students observe phenomena in the natural world, bringing the learning to life and making it relevant to their lives. Since 2018, he spends part of his summers teaching STEM at Upstream Academy to underprivileged youth. Jason enjoys sharing his ideas with other teachers. In the past, he has led "Tech Tuesday" events, professional development workshops, and a kindergarten through fifth grade science teacher collaboration. Since 2014, Jason has participated in collaborations to write, review, and adopt new state science standards. In 2021, Jason co-presented the new state science standards to teachers across the state and is assisting in the review of the state pilot science assessment. He has been on several school district curriculum committees and is currently on the 2021-2022 science curriculum committee. He has enjoyed mentoring three preservice teachers. Jason earned a B.S. in elementary education and an M.Ed. in educational technology from the University of Alaska. He is a National Board Certified Middle Childhood Generalist. He holds a master teacher certificate with an endorsement in educational technology.

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