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Education alum recognized with NSF’s Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching

August 3, 2015

KU School of Education alum Patrick Flynn has been selected to receive a 2015 Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) awarded by the National Science Foundation. 

The PAEMST is the nation's highest honor for teachers of mathematics and science (including computer science).  Awardees serve as models for their colleagues, inspiration to their communities, and leaders in the improvement of mathematics and science education.  More than 4,300 teachers have been recognized for their contributions in the classroom and to their profession since 1983.

Flynn has taught mathematics for the past 20 years, with the last seven years at Olathe East High School in Olathe, KS. His current course load is Advanced Placement Calculus and Algebra 1, which he teaches to all grade levels. When not with his own students, Flynn teaches students at other schools through the National Math and Science Initiative.

This past year, the students in Pat's classes have formed small learning communities where they help and encourage each other on their mathematical journey.  Pat's professional development activities include attending the Biomathematics and Discrete Mathematics Institutes at Rutgers University.

“The Presidential Award acknowledges the time spent exploring mathematics alongside my students; the time spent searching for more effective ways to teach; and the opportunity to connect with other life-long learners. I am very humbled to be part of such an incredible group of educators,” said Flynn.

Flynn is also the author of online activities to coincide with episodes of the CBS television show NUMB3RS. He has served as a panelist for Student Explorations in Mathematics, a board member for the Kansas City Area Teachers of Mathematics, and a mentor for many teachers in his district. 

Flynn presents at local, regional, and national conferences on effectively implementing technology to increase student engagement and learning of mathematics. He is also a regional instructor and author for the Texas Instruments Teachers Teaching with Technology program.

Flynn completed his bachelor’s degree in teacher education (1992) and his master’s degree (1999) in mathematics education, both from the KU Department of Curriculum & Teaching. He is licensed to teach mathematics in grades 5-12.

“I would never have become the teacher I am today without the help and guidance of Dr. Susan Gay.  KU is very lucky to have such dedicated and experienced professors and educators teaching students,” said Flynn.

The National Science Foundation administers Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) on behalf of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

The Department of Curriculum & Teaching is housed in the KU School of Education, located in Lawrence Kansas. The KU School of Education is a nationally-ranked School, preparing educators and health/sport/exercise professionals as leaders.    

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