Two MST Members receive President Obama and Presidential Award for Excellence | Mathematics Education | Mathematics Science and Technology

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Teachers College, Columbia University
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Mathematics Education

In the Department of Mathematics, Science & Technology

Two Teachers College MST alumni receive the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics Teaching—the nation's highest honor for teachers of mathematics and science.

"These teachers are shaping America’s success through their passion for math and science. Their leadership and commitment empower our children to think critically and creatively about science, technology, engineering, and math. The work these teachers are doing in our classrooms today will help ensure that America stays on the cutting edge tomorrow.”

--- President Barack Obama ---

Dr. Valerie Jones (Ed.D. in Mathematics and Education, 2011) has been an educator for the past 15 years. Her dissertation, titled The effect of computer gaming on student motivation and basic multiplication fluency, focused on math, multiplication, and games. She brings her research to the classroom. Dr. Jones has been committed to making her classes exciting and engaging by incorporating video games, technology, and movement. She has been teacher of year, math department chair, and a coach of a national championship MATHCOUNTS team. Dr. Jones has also served as a member of the Southern Association of College and Schools Accreditation Committee. She currently works at Ron Clark Academy in Atlanta, Georgia where she teaches 6th, 7th, and 8th grade mathematics. For more information, please visit her website at

Teaching at the Horace Mann school for the past four years, Chance Nalley (Ed.M. in Mathematics and Education, 2013) shares with students his own passion for the application of mathematics and inspires them to think deeply. He also helps them to learn more by integrating exploration, hands-on activities, and technology into student learning. Chance teaches precalculus and statistics at Horace Mann. In the past, he was a Master Teacher for Math for America and has previously worked at Manhattan School for Scientific Inquiry, Columbia Secondary School for Mathematics Science and Engineering, and the David A. Stein Riverdale Kingsbridge Academy. Chance is also pursuing his doctorate in mathematics education at Teachers College.


From the PAEMST webiste: "For more information about the alumni, please visit The Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching is awarded annually to outstanding K-12 science and mathematics teachers from across the country. The winners are selected by a panel of distinguished scientists, mathematicians, and educators following an initial selection process done at a state level. Each year, the award alternates between teachers teaching kindergarten through 6th grade and those teaching 7th through 12th grades. The winners of this Presidential honor will receive a $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation to be used at the recipient’s discretion. The recipients are also invited to Washington, D.C., for an awards ceremony and visits with members of the White House administration. For more information, please visit"

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