The Presidential Award recognizes excellence and outstanding commitment to teaching. This recognition validates the work I do daily with my students, and the work that I do with my colleagues in the math education community. The award affirms my passion for and skill in teaching math and reinforces my commitment to continuing this work in and out of my classroom. I am so excited by this honor and the opportunities it will afford me to continue to engage in conversations about math education.
Karen Schweitzer has spent most of her 34-year career as a kindergarten through second grade teacher. She has been at the Anne T. Dunphy School for 26 years, where she currently teaches third grade.
In Karen’s classroom, all students can become mathematical thinkers. Her activities invite students to explore concepts, create solutions, and work collaboratively. Karen believes that even the youngest minds can engage with big mathematical ideas, demonstrated in her innovative work with primary students. Her breadth and depth of mathematical knowledge has allowed her to excel in teaching older students as well.
For 22 years, in addition to her classroom work, Karen has been part of an ongoing series of NSF-funded projects with researchers from Mount Holyoke College, the Education Development Center, and TERC. Consequently, she contributed to the "Developing Mathematical Ideas" professional development materials, presented at national conferences, and wrote chapters in two books. She provides professional development in mathematics and mathematics education for preservice and in-service teachers around the country.
Karen has a B.A. in early childhood education from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and is certified in kindergarten through eighth grade elementary education. She has a M.A. in mathematics teaching, concentration in leadership, from Mount Holyoke College.