By: Chuck Gibson

The President’s Excellence Award in Science has been awarded to Lisa Holt-Taylor, third grade science and social studies teacher at Boyd E. Smith Elementary School.  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. While there she attended professional development workshops. The all-expenses paid trip was 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,” said Holt-Taylor.  “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.”

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. Previously she taught second grade and has worked as a school counselor. She uses hands-on learning in an effort to develop a passion for science in her students. 

Participation in professional development in Belize, Guyana, Galapagos, the Great Barrier Reef, and Alaska has helped her develop the skills and knowledge to incorporate science inquiry, engineering, and global awareness into lessons that spark student curiosity. Mrs. Holt-Taylor began a LEGO Club at the school and integrates engineering into her instruction to prepare students for today’s world of technology.

Lisa Holt-Taylor 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.

Mrs. Holt-Taylor 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.

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Photo caption: Milford School’s – Boyd E. Smith Elementary School third grade teacher Lisa Holt-Taylor won the President’s Excellence Award in Science for 2019