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State math teachers group presents award to faculty members

Two members of Western Carolina University’s Mathematics and Computer Science Department have been honored by the North Carolina Council of Teachers of Mathematics.

Sloan Despeaux

Sloan Despeaux, professor of mathematics, and Nathan Borchelt, associate professor of mathematics, were recently presented the council’s Innovator Award for their work in establishing and sustaining the N.C. Network of Math Teachers’ Circles.

The council is a professional organization open to anyone responsible for the teaching of mathematics, and membership includes teachers from all levels, kindergarten through graduate school, and other professionals who work with curriculum and materials for the teaching of mathematics. The group promotes high-quality math teaching, informed by research that enhances the learning of all students, and serves as a liaison with the N.C. Department of Public Instruction.

Nathan Borchelt

The purpose of the Innovator Award is to recognize and reward those who have made an outstanding and noteworthy contribution to mathematics education.

The Network of Math Teachers’ Circles is a professional development organization for math teachers and professors to stay connected around mathematics. In five years, this network has grown from one to 10 circles that span the state. In the circles, teachers of mathematics work with college and university mathematicians on rich mathematical tasks that serve to rekindle passion and enthusiasm for mathematics. The circles meet for three-day intensive mathematical sessions at the N.C. Center for the Advancement of Teaching in Cullowhee each summer.

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