The Presidential Award is an affirmation of my more than half-a-century career teaching young people the delights of mathematics. Always working to be a better teacher than last year, with the help of my fellow faculty and our students, I continue to discover how children learn mathematics. Mathematics is not learned, and should not be taught, in isolation. Maximum learning takes place in a community of learners and teachers. There has never been a better time to be a mathematics educator.

George Christoph Lacey, WA | 7-12, Mathematics, 2017

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

George Christoph has been teaching for 51 years with no plans to retire. Most recently, he taught at River Ridge High School for ten years. His classes included algebra, geometry, precalculus, and Advanced Mathematical Reasoning. George currently works for Capital Region ESD 113 in the Teaching and Learning Department. He also teaches classes in education and mathematics at Saint Martin’s University. In his current role, he works with mathematics faculty on student engagement and mindset, assessment, lesson design, and complex problem solving. He enjoys the opportunity to model and team teach as he mentors teachers. George hopes to influence other professionals through journal articles, professional development offerings, presentations at the local, state, and national levels, and serving as a mathematics coach and National Board facilitator. His greatest professional joy is working in the district alongside five former teacher interns. George is a former Fulbright Scholar to the United Kingdom. He has been chosen as Teacher of the Year in three different states and has been both Academic and Athletic Coach of the Year. George earned a B.S. in industrial management and a M.Ed. in mathematics curriculum, both from the University of Cincinnati. He holds a certificate in secondary mathematics and is a National Board Certified Teacher.