Jedel Excellence in Mathematics Education (JEME) Awards were recently presented to three Shawnee Mission School District teachers.
Sarah Collins, first-grade teacher at Briarwood Elementary, Wraye Royle, math teacher at Trailridge Middle School, and Vince LaVergne, math teacher at Shawnee Mission South, were surprised in their classroom with the news.
The awards recognize those that implement innovative instructional practices and strategies to strengthen student understanding of math. There were 157 nominations for the award last fall and 16 individuals were selected to receive the honor.
The honorees will receive $1,000 and are invited to a banquet where they will be honored among outstanding math educators in Kansas City. They also will join a fellowship next year made up of math educators from Kindergarten through 12th grade.
In letters of recommendation for the award, Collins was described as being “dedicated and passionate about helping students learn and achieve their full potential” and as “an educational leader who is committed to continuous improvement and making learning relevant and rigorous for her students.”
Royle was described in a recommendation as someone who “aggressively seeks new knowledge to impact her practice and building wide systems of support for learners. This educator is the first to volunteer for conferences on math practice and educator collaboration. In the moment of these events and after, Wraye applies learning with colleagues, coaches and leaders.”
One recommendation letter described LaVerge as a teacher who “studies to find better ways to improve student learning, he is open to trying new ideas/strategies, and when he finds ways to improve his lessons he shares these ideas with the teachers in our building, throughout the district, with peers in other districts, and various math conferences.”
Representatives from the University of Kansas, the Center for STEM Learning, and the Jedel Family Foundation visited each school to present the surprise recognitions.