The Presidential Award in Mathematics represents the power behind collaboration among phenomenal educators willing to share their innovative practices and have courageous conversations; the power behind allowing time for students to grapple with mathematical concepts in a real-world context; and the power behind allowing teachers to take risks and the autonomy to innovate. It is an honor to be considered among so many incredible educators for this prestigious award.
Amanda Cavin has been an educator for 13 years and is the assistant principal of two schools in Henry County: Ola Elementary School and Unity Grove Elementary School. Although she began her career teaching third grade in the Clayton County School System, she spent the majority of her career teaching first grade, fifth grade, and pre-K students with special needs at Unity Grove Elementary School.
As a teacher, Amanda engaged her students in project-based learning experiences, providing them the opportunity to apply their knowledge of mathematical concepts in a real-world context. She utilized technology to stimulate interest among her students and empower them to communicate mathematically. Her students maintained personal blogs to share their ideas and mathematical connections to the real world, such as an analysis of weather data to inform decisions about the class garden.
These young mathematicians regularly played games to reinforce strategies for mathematics with students in other states via Skype and often connected with experts using the class Twitter account. These innovative teaching practices were recognized by the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement and Georgia Public Broadcasting.
Amanda has a B.S. in elementary education from Samford University; a M.Ed. in special education from the University of Georgia; and an Ed.S. in teacher leadership from Piedmont College.