A Wawasee educator is actively involved in the process of reviewing the new state standards to be implemented for math in Indiana public schools.
Kristi Harris, a math teacher at Wawasee High School, gave a report to the Wawasee school board during its regular monthly meeting Tuesday about her involvement in the review process.
Harris noted she first attended a meeting Feb. 3 in Indianapolis to be involved in a review of state standards that will focus on college and career readiness. Indiana had planned to use the Common Core standards, but instead will now use its own system of college and career ready standards.
She went back to Indianapolis for more meetings Feb. 13-14 where the review panel was given a compiled list showing those standards where there was at least a 75 percent consensus. Harris was in the group looking at the high school standards for math and they reviewed the list to eliminate any duplications. Those recommendations were then released to the public.
On March 19 and 20 a second draft of the standards was presented after the public comments had been reviewed. Harris noted more than 2,000 public comments were received whether online or through other means. She said the group will likely meet again in early May so the standards can be finalized in time for teachers to have them during the summer months.
School board president Rebecca Linnemeier asked Harris if she felt the group “got the standards right.” Harris said she feels comfortable with the standards and is particularly excited because college professors and business leaders were also involved in the process.
In other business, the board heard a report from a couple of members of the Air Force Association Chapter 411. AFA presented its State Teacher of the Year Award to Ryan Edgar, a math teacher at Wawasee Middle School. Dr. Chuck Hassel gave a brief history of the AFA and then John Peyton, vice president of aerospace education for AFA, explained why AFA chose Edgar.
Peyton noted he and two others from AFA visited Edgar’s classroom for a class session in March and were impressed with his teaching ability. They also checked his background and were impressed with his involvement outside the classroom, such as coaching the middle school robotics club and doing planetarium tours with elementary school students. Peyton added, AFA is a strong supporter of public education and looks for those teachers who demonstrate an ability to not only teach, but also effectively prepare students for what they will face later on.
Edgar will be formally honored during a presentation in Indianapolis later in the spring and is also now one of 50 finalists, one from each state, for National Teacher of the Year. That award will be presented in June in Washington, D.C.
Edgar was humbled by the award and visibly emotional. “There are a lot of teachers in this corporation who work really hard,” he said. “I was honored just to be nominated for this.”
Also during the meeting, the board gave approval to bid on construction projects for 2014. Projects will be a combination of bonds and capital projects funds. Many of the projects will be at the high school and involve athletic facilities such as resurfacing the track, constructing a new football stadium entrance, restrooms and concessions and many more.
For a more in-depth account of last night’s meeting, see today’s issue of The Mail-Journal.