It is one of life's great joys to witness students' responses as they encounter the beauty of mathematics. The Presidential Award affirms that crafting and engaging in lessons that make this possible is a valuable endeavor. The award presents an opportunity to reflect on the many gifts and blessings I have enjoyed over my career: colleagues and students with whom I share my passion, and administrators that give me the freedom and support to do my job. I am most grateful to them all.

Mark Howell Washington, DC | 7-12, Mathematics, 2017

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

Mark Howell began his teaching career at Gonzaga College High School in 1977. He has taught Algebra, Geometry, Precalculus, Calculus, and Computer Science. Mark currently teaches Advanced Placement (AP) Computer Science to 11-12th-grades, Advanced Geometry to 9-10th-grades, Advanced Precalculus to 10-11th-grades, and AP Calculus to 11-12th-grades. In the classroom, Mark engages students in questions that involve genuine mathematical inquiry and insists on precise mathematical discourse. At the same time, he tries to use activities that will excite students, make them curious, and reveal mathematical beauty. Mark has worked with the AP Calculus program in a variety of roles, including as a member of the Development Committee. He was a contributing author for several College Board publications and is a coauthor of "Be Prepared for the AP Calculus Exam." He has presented at dozens of summer institutes and has spoken at international professional conferences. He currently serves as a member of the Mathematics Standing Committee for the National Assessment of Educational Progress. Mark won the Siemen's Award for Advanced Placement and the Tandy Technology Scholars award in 1999. Gonzaga presented him with the Herlihy award for excellence and the outstanding Jesuit Educator award. Mark earned a B.A., with honors, in mathematics and a M.A.T., both from the University of Chicago.