State Finalists for 2019 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics Teaching
We are proud to announce that two Commack High School mathematics teachers, Christina Pawlowski and Derek Pope, are state-level finalists for the 2019 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) for grades 7-12. Only three finalists are chosen state-wide. The award is one of the most prestigious honors in the nation for teachers, recognizing exemplary teaching and leadership in science and mathematics education.
“Having these two creative, innovative, and dedicated educators chosen as national finalists is a validation of the excellence of our teaching staff,” stated Superintendent Dr. Donald James. “Our goal is prepare students for the future, and Christina and Derek engage our students with innovative lessons so students can easily grasp difficult concepts. We are #CommackProud of these two awesome educators!”
Derek and Christina are both NYS Master Teachers. Derek is a National Board Certified Math teacher, a member of the NYSED State Professional Standards and Practices Board for Teaching, a Senior Fellow for the Knowles Teaching Initiative, and a recipient of the Harvard 2019 Distinguished Teacher Award. Christina also has her share of accomplishments as a recipient of the NYS Empire State Excellence in in Teaching Award, was a NYS Teacher of the Year finalist, Commack’s Teacher of the Year, and the Teen Ink Educator of the Year.
What motivates these teachers? Christina said it best. “Nothing makes me happier than seeing a student light up at the realization that they are capable of understanding and enjoying math. I have already been given the greatest award by being in a profession where I have had the opportunity to see the positive ripple effect my influence has created on each student I come in contact with and that is why I love teaching and learning.”
In photo, from left to right: Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Donald James, Derek Pope, Christina Pawlowski, Commack High School Principal, Leslie Boritz, and Barbara Gerson, Director of Mathematics K-12.