I have always believed that science and mathematics are the gateway to understanding how the world around us works. The Presidential Award process has given me the opportunity to connect with master teachers around the country that feel the same way. It provided the occasion to thoughtfully examine my teaching practices and has led to tremendous personal growth as a STEM educator. It is an incredible honor to be recognized as a member of this prestigious group of educators.

Jennifer Kennedy Athens, AL | K-6, Science, 2020

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

Jennifer Kennedy is proud to have been an educator for 26 years. For the past five years, she has served as the STEM specialist at SPARK Academy at Cowart Elementary School, a public kindergarten through third grade elementary school dedicated to teaching young children through the lens of science and engineering. She currently teaches science, engineering, and robotics to all students at SPARK Academy. Prior to that, she worked for seven years as an elementary and middle school gifted specialist and robotics instructor for Athens City Schools, five years as a gifted specialist and third grade teacher at Riverton and Harvest Elementary Schools, and seven years as a first and third grade teacher at Starry Elementary School. In 2002, Jennifer was named Iowa’s Teacher of the Year and served as Iowa’s Ambassador for Education during the 2002-2003 school year. She also had the honor of serving as an Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellow during the 2013-2014 school year. During that time, Jennifer worked at NASA Headquarters in the Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate. She has been the featured speaker at schools, professional development sessions, science festivals, and conferences across the nation, including performing a live aeronautics demonstration on The Weather Channel. Throughout her diverse career, Jennifer’s mission has remained the same: advocating for the inclusion of hands-on science education for all students at all levels. Jennifer earned a B.A. in elementary education from the University of Northern Iowa and an M.Ed. in special education, gifted, from the University of South Alabama. She earned National Board Certification in 2000 as a Middle Childhood Generalist. She is certified in both elementary education and PK-12 gifted education.

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