Being honored with The Presidential Award is both humbling and motivating. This achievement is a reflection of the quality educators I have been privileged to learn from and work beside throughout my career. This award motivates me to strengthen the strategies we, as educators, use to develop mathematical thinkers and persistent problem solvers.

Richard Brooks Johnston, IA | 7-12, Mathematics, 2015

Richard (Ricky) Brooks has been teaching mathematics for 24 years. For the past 22 years, Ricky has been employed at Johnston High School. He has taught all the mathematics courses offered at Johnston throughout his career there, and is currently teaching Advanced Placement AB and BC Calculus. Ricky enjoys helping to make sense of mathematics for his students. He challenges students to see the big picture and make connections through the use of activities and technology that tie the mathematics to the world around them. He expects students to ask “What if?” questions and encourages risk taking and teamwork in problem solving. Ricky has supervised and mentored several student teachers over his career. He has presented at mathematics conferences, led in-service trainings, and served on several curriculum committees. Ricky was a member of the Building Leadership Team and is the leader of the Math Department’s Professional Learning Community. In addition, Ricky served on the One-to-One Committee that researched digital learning and ultimately recommended that each student be equipped with an iPad. He is also a member of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics and the Iowa Council of Teachers of Mathematics. Ricky earned a B.A. in mathematics and mathematics education from Wartburg College and a Master’s of School Mathematics from Iowa State University. He is certified in 5–12 mathematics.