Edgar teacher makes math fun, finalist for Presidential Award

Published: Sep. 24, 2019 at 10:04 PM CDT
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Geometry can equate to a foreign language without a good translator

"I love the challenge of taking a kid who struggles with math and making them love math. And making them understand math," said Katie Haas, a math teacher at Edgar Middle School.

Haas is an Edgar grad. She's spent all 8 of her teaching years here, each better than the last.

"I'm always working on, 'how can I get better so that more of my students can learn?' So that more of my students enjoy math," Haas said.

Don't just take Mrs. Haas' word for it.

"I like how she changes up our partners every week," said Kiarah Blaser.

"She's just the best teacher that I've ever seen," added Angelina McKibben. "She makes things easier to understand."

"Makes it a lot more exciting for me to come here and want to learn more," said Lukas FIsher, a recent transfer from Rothschild.

"She's been putting her heart into this," said Cade Koch.

"It's great that we get to learn other things that we've never learned," Riley Radtke said.

"She put a lot of effort into it," Nick Scymasski added.

That effort has led to her pursuing a Presidential Award, one of six finalists statewide for grades 7-12 math or science teachers.

"I'm very much about setting goals and that's something I really want my students to see" said Haas. "And so if this is a way I can model to my students of setting a goal and going after it, and making yourself better in the process and improving in the process, that's what life should be all about."

Math plus goals equal success in Mrs. Hass' classroom.

"The more kids can understand math the more careers that are open to them."

Haas' application now heads to a national committee. They typically select one math and one science winner.

That teacher will get a trip to D.C., a chance to visit the White House and a $10,000 grant, which she could use for professional development.

The caveat is--they won't select the overall winner for 2 years. So she can add patience to her teaching agenda.

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