Becoming an upper elementary mathematics teacher pushed me out of my comfort zone, and it has been 100% worth it. Winning the Presidential Award is validation of the time and effort I put into this position, as well as the incredible support and encouragement I have received along the way. It is an honor to be recognized among this elite group of teachers from around the country who believe in the power of teaching and the magic of mathematics.

Sarah Werstuik Washington, DC | K-6, Mathematics, 2020

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

Sarah Werstuik has been a teacher in the District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) for 14 years. She came to Washington, D.C., as part of the Teach for America program and began her career as an early childhood teacher. Over the past decade since, she has taught first grade, fourth grade, and, most recently, fifth grade at Brent Elementary School on Capitol Hill. As a mathematics teacher, Sarah works tirelessly to tap into children’s natural curiosity and problem-solving abilities. She sees her students as puzzle-solvers with the capacity to use tools, language, and creativity to find solutions to even complex mathematical situations. Sarah uses mathematics challenges, group projects, discussion protocols, and hands-on activities to bring mathematics standards to life. She provides resources and support throughout the learning process to help all students in her class achieve individual growth and mastery goals. Outside of the classroom, Sarah is involved with the school community at every level. She leads an afterschool Math Olympiad team for fourth and fifth graders and serves as both a formal and informal mentor to other teachers. She works with school leaders to analyze student achievement data and has been the architect of a schoolwide schedule for many years. Sarah is also a member of Brent’s Local School Advisory team which includes teachers, parents, and community stakeholders who advise the administration on matters of equity and opportunity for all students. Sarah received a B.A. in psychology from the Pennsylvania State University and an M.Ed. in curriculum and instruction from George Mason University. She is certified in first through sixth grade elementary education and rated as a "Highly Effective" teacher within DCPS.

Know a great teacher like Sarah Werstuik?