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Teacher honored with National Award

Posted on: October 21, 2019
lisa holt taylor photo

Congratulations to Lisa Holt-Taylor, third grade science and social studies teacher at Boyd E. Smith Elementary School, for winning the President's Excellence Award in Science! The Presidential Excellence Awards in Science, Mathematics and Engineering are the highest award given by the U.S. Government to kindergarten through twelfth grade teachers. Mrs. Holt-Taylor travelled to Washington, D.C. last week to accept the award and to attend professional development workshops, on an all-expenses paid trip provided by the U.S. Department of Education. 

"The Presidential Award is an incredible honor and a validation of how important our role is in educating our youth. Reflecting on my educational opportunities, I realize how fortunate I am to live in a country with endless possibilities, where education is both valued and respected. As citizens, we are lucky to have the freedom to ask questions, seek answers, develop problem solving skills, and create unique solutions. Thank you for this honor," she said.

Mrs. Holt-Taylor has been an educator for 16 years. She has taught third grade science and social studies at Boyd E. Smith for the past seven years. She taught second grade previously and also worked as a school counselor. She seeks to develop her students' passion for science through hands-on learning. Her participation in professional development in Belize, Guyana, Galapagos, the Great Barrier Reef, and Alaska helps her incorporate science inquiry, engineering, and global awareness into lessons that spark student curiosity. To prepare students for a world of technology, Mrs. Holt-Taylor integrates engineering in her instruction, and she began a LEGO Club at her school. 

She has been published in the National Science Teachers Association's Science and Children, and presented at their conference. She gave a travel series talk on the Galapagos and spoke at a teacher workshop on science inquiry. She earned a B.S. in nursing from Eastern Kentucky University, a M.Ed. and school counseling certification from Xavier University, a M.A.T. in biological sciences from Miami University, and will complete a Distinguished STEM Leadership certification through NASA in 2019. She is certified in elementary education, first through eighth grade, and school counseling, K-12. Past awards include Educator of the Year from Hixson Inc. and Clermont County Soil and Water.

Learn more about the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching here.