Kimberly Lau

Sloan Awards for Excellence in Teaching Science and Mathematics • 2022

Title and Organization Science Teacher, Midwood High School


From the time she sets foot in the first of her five classes in the morning, Kimberly Lau models the high standards she hopes to instill in her students. That is clear not only during the school day, but in her afterschool Ocean Science Team coaching sessions, during her early evening student and parent outreach, and in her nighttime coursework review. “The level of planning Kimberly engages in is just off the charts,” says Alan Stack, Midwood assistant principal. “She creates a five-page plan for one 40-minute session. She thinks of everything—and everyone—before she begins, so each of her students gets the most out of each class.” Ms. Lau uses various strategies, from lectures and hands-on experiments to paired and small-group discussion, to facilitate understanding of course material. Her efforts have been successful, as her students consistently outperform most others on state, national, and global assessments. Classwork is rigorous, but Ms. Lau continually checks in with her students to make sure they understand the material. “I learned a great deal about science in the classes I took with Ms. Lau,” says former Midwood student Alyssa Kattan. “But she also taught me so much more, including how to aim high. She taught me to set ambitious goals and standards for myself. And what it takes to meet them. She taught those things by her own example.” In 2017, Ms. Lau became a Master Teacher at Math for America, and Midwood’s students voted her Teacher of the Year. In 2021, Ms. Lau was Midwood’s Sidney Millman Teacher of the Year, an honor she was selected for through a vote from fellow teachers.