This award is a great honor. It motivates me to keep finding new ways to inspire students and prepare them for the many paths they may take in the future. This achievement also challenges me to get more involved with development and leadership opportunities. Most importantly, it is a reflection on the great teachers I have worked with and learned from and the continuous support my colleagues and family give me as I do something I love.

Michael Spock Columbus, IN | 7-12, Mathematics, 2015

The official biography below was current at the time of the award.

Michael (Mike) Spock has been an educator for 18 years, including 17 years teaching Mathematics, Physics, and Computer Science at Columbus North High School. He currently teaches Precalculus, Advanced Placement Statistics, and Advanced Placement Computer Science to sophomores, juniors, and seniors. Mike regularly engages students by connecting mathematics with other fields of interest or current events. New projects and challenges are designed each year enabling students to use mathematics as a tool to model the world. Students in Mike’s classroom typically work collaboratively and learn to communicate using mathematics. Multiple approaches to solving problems are encouraged and mistakes are valued as a step in the learning process. Outside the classroom, Mike coaches multiple academic teams, including mathematical modeling, debate, and computer app design. In addition, he has mentored students who have designed and led computer programming camps for elementary school students. Mike has presented at a variety of workshops and participated in the Advanced Placement reading for statistics. Mike graduated with B.S. degrees, cum laude, in electrical engineering and physics from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology and received a Master’s degree in educational technology from Boise State University. He is currently certified to teach grades 7–12 in physics and mathematics.