Tuesday, May 03, 2005


Did you know that three of the nation’s very best mathematics teachers are working in Nebraska? They were honored last year by the Mathematical Association of America as among the best of the best math teachers, based on how well their students do on a national exam.

They are:

Linda Coates, St. Margaret Mary School, Omaha

Jessica Kent, Westside Middle School, Omaha

Leona Penner, Lincoln East High School, Lincoln

They were among about 50 teachers on the junior-high and high-school levels who won $100 and other prizes through the Edyth May Sliffe Awards for junior high and high school math teachers.

Awards are distributed based on the top three scores of a teacher’s students on the American High School Mathematics Examination. Your students have to rank in the top one-third of the region for three years to qualify, evidence of ongoing excellence in the math instruction you’re delivering.

The awards were bequeathed by a longtime math teacher in California who noticed top math students getting honored year after year, but little recognition given to their teachers. It’s a neat example of how one individual can take a stand for excellence that has far-reaching ripples in the academic pool.

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