The Presidential Award is a proclamation that the education values of our country are to instill deep conceptual mathematical knowledge and to experience mathematics. While I feel very privileged to receive such an honor, it seems to me that the award is honoring a meaningful way to bring our students to experience the concepts that quantify and describe our surroundings. This award is a testament to all the people who have poured out their hearts and time into my teaching and helped me along the way.

Scott Cooley Spokane Valley, WA | 7-12, Mathematics, 2015

Scott Cooley has been teaching mathematics for 16 years, and has been at University High School for the last 13 years. He has taught math classes offered in two different states and currently teaches Geometry, Precalculus, and Calculus AB to 9th–12th grade students. His training includes a B.S. in mathematics from the University of Arizona. Scott creates contextual experiences that bridge students’ prior knowledge into the formation of meaningful concepts. This desire has flourished through opportunities to work with the Riverpoint Advanced Mathematics Partnership as well as through opportunities to help write curriculum for the Central Valley School District. His greatest joy is to watch students enter into a rich problem solving situation and create mathematic structures for themselves that facilitate efficient ways to count and make meaning of input and output patterns. There have been many opportunities for Scott to share his teaching strengths, such as facilitating professional development for different cohorts of teachers throughout Spokane, participating in many state-wide activities to improve learning and curriculum materials, and helping to direct mentor teachers with student teachers. He excels at creating a safe, collaborative environment in his classroom where students discover mathematic concepts through problem solving and conversation.