Vail biology teacher honored at White House

Tucson teacher, Michael Frank has won the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching this year. The award is the Nation’s highest honors for teachers of mathematics and science.

Since 1983, more than 4,100 teachers have been recognized for their contributions in the classroom and to their profession.

Michael Frank has taught science for 7 years, primarily Biology, Biology Honors, and Advanced Placement Biology at Empire High School. He previously taught science for 3 years at Cienega High School; also in the Vail Unified School District. Michael has also worked as a research scientist and taught at the college level.

Michael helped design the approach and curriculum for Empire High School, one of the first schools built around the idea of replacing texts with laptops. In addition to teaching a full schedule, Michael is the Science Department Instructional Team Leader for his school, working with science teachers across the District to develop effective and relevant science curriculums. He is a Cognitive Coach for new teachers, providing them with peer feedback, and is the District Science Fair Coordinator, increasing participation in and the quality of student science research in the district. He coaches the school Science Olympiad team.

Michael has participated in two National Science Foundation grants, BioME and iPlant Collaborative, designed to improve K-12 science education.

Michael has a B.S. and an M.S. in biology from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and a Ph.D. in biology from the University of Denver. He has secondary education certification in biology and general science.