The Presidential Award is an amazing honor and an affirmation of the daily efforts to teach my students to communicate effectively, persevere amidst struggle, and become good problem solvers through the study of mathematics. This experience would not be possible without the support of family, colleagues, administrators, and students who continue to challenge and inspire me. I look forward to collaborating with educators from across the country and to the opportunities ahead.

Beth Vavzincak Parma, OH | 7-12, Mathematics, 2015

Beth Vavzincak has been an educator for 18 years at Normandy High School in the Parma City School District during which she has taught various levels of algebra and precalculus. Beth believes that it is no longer acceptable for students to memorize procedures and recall information. Beth believes that in order for students to be ready for college or a career, they need to be able to work in teams, communicate effectively, and be good problem solvers. Her role in the classroom is that of a facilitator, where she supports and encourages students to work together, persevere in challenging tasks, and pose thoughtful questions. Beth has served as an active member of the Greater Cleveland Council of Teachers of Mathematics and has presented workshops on using effective instructional strategies for student collaboration and engagement by transforming traditional classroom problems into rich tasks. She is also a Teacher Leader for College Preparatory Mathematics, where she facilitates workshops on implementing the use of teams, team roles, and Ohio’s Learning Standards that focus on the eight standards of mathematical practice to ensure all students are actively engaged. Beth earned a B.A. in mathematics education from the University of Akron and a M.Ed. from Marygrove College. She is a certified high school mathematics teacher and is a designated Master Teacher by the state of Ohio.