Kara Ball is the 2018 Department of Defense Education Activity Teacher of the Year and National Teacher of the Year finalist. She works as the Elementary Science/ STEM Education Specialist in Maryland.
Kara believes students should have opportunities to demonstrate their understanding through real-world experiences that brings learning to life. Every lesson she teaches is embedded with 21st Century skills that provide students opportunities to communicate their beliefs and ideas giving them a voice in their education.
She is a Silver Spring, Maryland native. Former Montgomery County Public School teacher where she was the recipient of the Shirley J. Lowrie “Thank you for Teaching” award that recognizes exemplary elementary educators. She comes from a family of teachers and service workers. Kara credits her grandmother, Alice Ball, for inspiring her from a young age to become an educator. She earned her bachelor’s in science degree in elementary education and special education from Towson University, earned a master’s of education with a specialization in curriculum, instruction, and assessment from Walden University. Kara is currently working on her Ph.D. in learning, instruction and innovation.
Kara was recognized as one of four finalists for the National Teacher of the Year program and was recognized by the U.S. President, U.S. Secretary of Education, and U.S. Secretary of Labor at a White House education panel event as an acclaimed leader in STEM education. She continues to travel the world discussing the importance of early access to STEM education and advocating for all children to have an opportunity to experience STEM at the elementary level.
Kara is an accomplished and award-winning National Board-Certified Teaching in Early Childhood Education. She is also recognized as one of the best science and math educators in the nation as a 2016 finalist for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching and Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellowship finalist as well.
Her goal as an educator is to inspire students to think critically about the world around them and develop an understanding of the potential positive impacts they could have on the world they live in, or as she says “invent to learn!”