Mason Alumna Receives Presidential Award for Math Teaching

Posted: January 9, 2014 at 5:01 am, Last Updated: January 13, 2014 at 6:41 am

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Stephanie Chlebus. Photo courtesy of Stephanie Chlebus

Stephanie Chlebus, MEd Education Leadership ’11, was named the Virginia winner of the 2012 Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics Teaching. Chlebus is a fifth grade mathematics teacher at Charles Barrett Elementary School in Alexandria, Va. She graduated from George Mason University with a concentration in math specialist leader.

The Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching are the highest honors given annually by the United States government specifically for K-12 mathematics and science (including computer science) teaching. Established by Congress in 1983, the award program is administered by the National Science Foundation (NSF) on behalf of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

Each year, the award alternates between teachers teaching kindergarten through sixth grade and those teaching seventh through 12th grades. This year, 102 mathematics and science teachers won the award. Winners of the Presidential honor receive a $10,000 award from NSF to be used at their discretion.

“I am so honored to receive the Presidential Award, which I feel validates the efforts I have put into teaching mathematics,” says Chlebus. “The award also gives me the opportunity to express my gratitude to those who have helped me become the teacher I am today, including my colleagues and family.”

During her seven years of teaching in Alexandria, Chlebus established annual Parent Academy Nights in which parents attended one-night courses to better assist their children’s academic development. These events won a Best Practices Award from the Character Education Partnership.

Chlebus also helped establish schoolwide Math Family Game Nights. This led to her writing an article titled “Increasing Parent Involvement and Discourse,” which will be published in the National Council of Teachers and Mathematics’ “Teaching Children Mathematics” in March 2014.

Chlebus has a BS in theater and a minor in elementary education from Gettysburg College. While she was a student at Mason, she received the Exxon scholarship for “demonstrated leadership ability, content knowledge and exceptional potential as a math specialist.”

Write to Colleen Kearney Rich at ckearney@gmu.edu

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