It has never been my focus to win awards for my teaching, but rather to work hard to ensure that my students have a positive, welcoming place to learn mathematics at their highest level. This nomination, and the subsequent award, has validated my current practices causing me to reflect on my goals and refocus them toward loftier heights. I view this award as the highest honor bestowed to any mathematics or science teacher, and I am humbled to join the ranks of this group.

Peter Shanazu Fairfield, CT | 7-12, Mathematics, 2017

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

Peter Shanazu has taught mathematics at Fairfield Warde High School for the past seven years, and at Bassick High School for nine years prior. He has been an adjunct mathematics professor at Fairfield University for the past five years and has taught every level of mathematics from Pre-Algebra to Advanced Placement Calculus AB in high school, and Applied Calculus at university. Currently, Peter teaches 9-12th-grade AP Calculus, Probability and Statistics, and Algebra 2. Peter is the head golf coach at Fairfield Warde, and previously the assistant baseball coach at both Warde and Bassick, as well as assistant football coach and assistant athletic director at Bassick. In the classroom, Peter uses heterogeneous and homogeneous grouping techniques, real-world problem sets as well as applicable real-world projects to help foster deep understanding, creative thinking, and collaboration for each student. He is on many school and district committees and has led multiple professional development sessions. He has also been coordinator of Warde Day where he brought 90 professionals from the surrounding area to speak to students. Peter earned a B.S. in mathematics from the University of Connecticut, a M.A.T. and sixth year in educational leadership in administration from Sacred Heart University. Peter is a certified secondary mathematics teacher and a certified intermediate administrator.