BAUMHOLDER, Germany -- Timothy Kelly, a math teacher at Baumholder Middle High School, is one of two Department of Defense Education Activity teachers named by President Barack Obama as recipients of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching, the nation's highest honor for math and science teachers. His colleague Ray Smola, a physics teacher at Heidelberg High School, was the other recipient. A,A Kelly gives the credit for his award to his colleagues and team members of Baumholder High School's math department. A,A "I am truly humbled and honored," said Kelly. "Winning this award is the highest honor that can be received by a math teacher, and I feel that my award is reflective of the work of our entire mathematics department at Baumholder High School. We are a great team and I am just lucky enough to be receiving some of the accolades. Again, this has been a very humbling experience." A,A Born and raised in Perry, in western New York, Kelly has a bachelor of arts in mathematics from the State University of New York at Geneseo and a master's in science from Walden University in education specializing in integrating technology into the classroom. A,A While some might say teaching is a challenging profession, Kelly said he was inspired by one of his teachers."Teaching has always been what I have wanted to do. It's all I know. And like most teachers, I was also inspired by an excellent teacher, William Exton. He taught trigonometry and calculus, coached football and was the senior class sponsor. I looked up to Mr. Exton, and this naturally motivated me to go into teaching," said Kelly. A,A Kelly has taught mathematics for DoDEA for 10 years. He's taught at Bad Kreuznach American School, Bahrain School and Baumholder High School.Before joining DoDEA Kelly worked at Canandaigua Academy in upstate New York. A,A His teaching philosophy is simple: Develop the student; develop the thinker."My mission as an educator is to develop active thinkers who see consequences for their choices and realize that success is contingent upon testing oneself. I try to build each student's self confidence through success in my classroom as I instill a sense of responsibility in them." A,A "I teach and model respect and courtesy for all students, and their ideas, inside and outside of my classroom. I want all students to leave my classroom feeling better about themselves, as citizens and more confident about what they can accomplish in a modern world," said Kelly. A,A He also believes in being flexible and feels that a good rapport with students is very helpful. A,A "Having a good rapport with students is probably the most helpful teaching strategy. Coaching a sport always plays a big part of that. I also try to interject some humor in daily lessons, and I try to be flexible with our students, especially when times are rough," said Kelly. A,A Kelly and his wife Saundra, who was stationed in Baumholder in 2000 as a captain with the 92nd Military Police Company, came to Germany, fell in love with the community and decided to stay. "I came as her dependent and was fortunate enough to be hired at Bad Kreuznach American School. We fell in love with the community and surrounding area. Saundra has finished her commitment to the Army and currently teaches first grade at Smith Elementary School," said Kelly. A,A Coming to Germany and working for DoDEA in Baumholder, along with his accolades, has panned out as the perfect combination for Kelly. A,A "I am grateful that working for DoDEA has put me in the position to be selected for this prestigious award. We have a great team here in Baumholder, and I feel honored to work with my colleagues and teach the students of our military families," said Kelly.To his students Kelly said, "Keep in mind that in the real world effort always trumps natural ability, regardless of the activity."Other meritsAs Baumholder High's department chair, Kelly leads an acclaimed department focused on vertical teaming and using data to differentiate instruction. A,A Under his leadership, Baumholder High School has added and sustained both Advanced Placement statistics and AP calculus. Kelly is a strong advocate for allowing all students into advanced mathematics classes, especially those coming from groups that have been underrepresented in the past. He is the Math Counts coach and serves on several school improvement committees. A,A Kelly has presented on the topics of cultivating a rigorous AP climate and vertical teaming to district administrators.