Mishawaka teacher awarded presidential education honor

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Beiger Elementary School teacher, Sara Hoover, has been named as one of two Indiana recipients of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching.

Hoover is a lifelong Mishawaka resident, who graduated from IUSB with a master’s degree in 2002.

She has been teaching at the School City of Mishawaka since 2002, and has been at Beiger Elementary since 2004.

One of Hoover’s presidential-award-winning qualities includes her ability to lead by project-based learning, and the belief that STEM study can create opportunities for broader life skills for students.

“The process is what’s most important. If the students don’t get the outcome they wanted, sometimes they might think that their project didn’t work. I’ll ask them, ‘What makes you think it didn’t work? You actually had complete success. You were able to work well with your partner, you were completely on task, and you met all the criteria,” said Hoover.

In August of 2021, Hoover transitioned from teaching second-grade, to acting as the head of the K-6 edition of the Project Lead the Way initiative, an organization that helps develop STEM strategies and programs.

While Hoover misses teaching the second-grade, she enjoys running the K-6 PLTW program, which comes complete with a room dedicated to STEM work that has been dubbed the “Imagination Lab”.

All students get 60 minutes per week of STEM time.

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