Saturday, November 22, 2014
My Account  | Login
Nashua;40.0;http://forecast.weather.gov/images/wtf/small/nbkn.png;2014-11-22 22:30:49
Friday, April 19, 2013

Nashua South math teacher honored with prestigious state award

NASHUA – Lisa Gingras has loved math since she was a child, and by the time she was in high school, she knew she wanted to be a teacher.

“I loved how applicable it was to the real world,” she said. “I am a big sports fan, and love construction, and I like being able to see how math ties into these things.” ...

Sign up to continue

Print subscriber?    Sign up for Full Access!

Please sign up for as low as 36 cents per day to continue viewing our website.

Digital subscribers receive

  • Unlimited access to all stories from nashuatelegraph.com on your computer, tablet or smart phone.
  • Access nashuatelegraph.com, view our digital edition or use our Full Access apps.
  • Get more information at nashuatelegraph.com/fullaccess
Sign up or Login

NASHUA – Lisa Gingras has loved math since she was a child, and by the time she was in high school, she knew she wanted to be a teacher.

“I loved how applicable it was to the real world,” she said. “I am a big sports fan, and love construction, and I like being able to see how math ties into these things.”

Today, Gingras tries to help her own students see math’s ties to the real world, at the same high school she graduated from years ago.

This month, the New Hampshire Teachers of Mathematics recognized the Nashua High School South math teacher as the winner of their annual Richard C. Evans Distinguished Mathematics Educator Award. Gingras was nominated for the award by Nashua guidance director Maureen O’Dea.

The award, which comes with a $500 award and one-year membership to NHTM as an honorary member of the board of directors, recognizes a math educator each year who demonstrates “philosophy, passion and knowledge of mathematics education.”

And for Gingras, just being nominated is enough recognition for the work she believes she was meant to do.

“It’s really humbling,” she said. “Even just to have one of your peers think you deserve this, that’s the real recognition.”

This is her second time in the running for the award. In 2012, Gingras was nominated and had a classroom visit by members of NHTM, but did not receive the award.

On Wednesday, Gingras was busy demonstrating why she won: teaching a group of 30 high school students about statistics. Her Advanced Placement statistics course is popular,; both sections have about 30 students.

It was the last day of instruction on new material, and Gingras was getting ready to help her students prepare for the Advanced Placement exams.

“Who haven’t I checked on yet?” she said, walking around the classroom helping individual students as they worked on practice problems. At times, if she noticed a common mistake, Gingras would stop the class to discuss an issue together. Her students said it is this individualized attention that makes Gingras a good teacher.

Senior Kayla Brickey is taking Gingras’ class as her first AP math class, and said that while the class is a challenge, her teacher has made it possible for her to succeed.

“You really learn something new every day,” Brickey said. “She’s a great teacher.”

Adam Nastasia, also a senior, said he has taken a lot of challenging math classes and Gingras is one of his favorite teachers.

“She’s a lot of fun,” he said. “She splits us into small groups a lot, and explains things to people individually.”

Gingras said she learned early on in school what kind of teacher she wanted, and didn’t want, to be.

It was a bad math teacher, who didn’t inspire her or her classmates, who first got Gingras thinking about being a teacher when she was at Nashua Senior High School.

But it was a great math teacher – Tim Kelley – who helped her make her decision. Six years after she graduated college, during which she worked in Salem, it was Kelley who gave her a start in Nashua schools.

Gingras said that there will be a lot of work going forward with the NHTM board of directors, but that she hopes her participation can help her inspire other educators around the state.

“I have a lot of respect for the individuals on the decision committee, and I am very humbled to be recognized,” she said.

Danielle Curtis can be reached at 594-6557 or dcurtis@nashua
telegraph.com. Also, follow Curtis on Twitter (@Telegraph_DC).