Heather Anderson
School of the Arts

16 Greater KC area teachers receive Jedel Excellence in Mathematics Education Awards

Mon, 05/13/2019

LAWRENCE – The Jedel Family Foundation has announced the recipients of this year’s Jedel Excellence in Mathematics Education Awards. The winners exemplify innovation, mentorship and service in elementary and secondary mathematics teaching. The teachers have been notified with surprise visits to classrooms, school assemblies and staff gatherings throughout April and May, which were also attended by superintendents, district media, families and friends.

“It was an honor to observe these extraordinary mathematics teachers at work,” said Steve Case, director of the KU Center for STEM Learning. “It is our hope that with the leadership of the Jedel Excellence in Mathematics Education award winners, all learners can achieve a high level of literacy in mathematics.”

Each recipient receives a monetary award, a trophy, a surprise announcement at school and an invitation to join the Jedel Excellence in Mathematics Fellowship of Mathematics Educators next year. This year’s 16 winners were chosen out of 157 nominations.

“We are grateful for the Jedel Family Foundation’s interest in supporting excellence in mathematics education,” said Katrina Rothrock, chair, Jedel Excellence in Mathematics Education awards program. “It is an honor to facilitate the collaboration of phenomenal mathematics educators across districts throughout the Kansas City area.”

$10,000 Integral Award recipients:

  • Kelly Bonebrake, Gateway 6th Grade Center, North Kansas City, Missouri
  • Emily Boyd, Gateway 6th Grade Center, North Kansas City, Missouri
  • Laura Deffer, Blue Valley Northwest High School, Blue Valley
  • Jessica Montague, Clardy Elementary, North Kansas City, Missouri

$5,000 Exponential Award Recipients:

  • Will Dunn, Tonganoxie High School, Tonganoxie
  • Tracy Harris, Stony Point Elementary, Grain Valley, Missouri

$1,000 Prime Award Recipients:

  • Rachel Barzee, Little Blue Elementary, Raytown, Missouri
  • Sarah Collins, Briarwood Elementary, Prairie Village
  • Brenna Eaton, Gladstone Elementary, Kansas City, Missouri
  • Sara Gehrt, Clear Creek Elementary, De Soto
  • Brandon Hawks, Blue Valley Southwest High School, Overland Park
  • Vincent LaVergne, Shawnee Mission South High School, Overland Park
  • Terry Link, Olathe North High School, Olathe
  • Samantha Newlin, Blue Valley High School, Stilwell
  • Wraye Royle, Trailridge Middle School, Shawnee
  • Kim Spencer, Harrisonville Elementary, Harrisonville, Missouri

The award-winners were determined following a rigorous selection process which required applicants to submit essays discussing their knowledge and application of a variety of pedagogical practices used to strengthen students’ understanding of mathematics. The finalists’ teaching abilities were evaluated to determine the winners by observing the teachers in their classroom.

The Jedel Excellence in Mathematics Education Awards are bestowed to recognize exemplary K-12 math teaching. Established by the Jedel Family Foundation in 2018 in collaboration with the KU Center for STEM Learning, the awards recognize 16 outstanding mathematics teachers in the Greater Kansas City area. The awards recognize those that implement innovative instructional practices and strategies to strengthen student understanding of mathematics. Awardees serve as leaders for their schools and ambassadors of mathematics for their community.

Nominations for next year’s award will be accepted beginning Sept. 1. Teachers, principals and school faculty are encouraged to nominate exceptional mathematics teachers from their schools for the award. Mathematics teachers who have at least three years of teaching experience from schools located in Platte, Clay, Jackson and Cass counties in Missouri as well as Leavenworth, Wyandotte, Johnson and Douglas counties in Kansas are eligible for the award.

For more information, visit, follow @jedelaward on Twitter and Instagram or like Jedel Excellence in Mathematics Education on Facebook.

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