10/12/13 — Jennifer Harper wins Math Teacher of the Year

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Jennifer Harper wins Math Teacher of the Year

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on October 12, 2013 11:58 PM

Jennifer Harper, a fifth-grade math teacher at Mount Olive Middle School, has been named 2013-14 Wayne County Public Schools' Outstanding Elementary School Mathematics Teacher of the Year.

The 15-year veteran in the profession has been at the school for four years. In 2011, she was named WCPS middle school teacher of the year.

She was recognized during Monday night's school board meeting for her latest accomplishment.

"Mrs. Harper is a leader in mathematics," board member Dr. Dwight Cannon said. "She has assisted and facilitated district- and school-level professional development in the area of Common Core, assisted with the development of the district's math Common Core pacing guide and serves as the coordinator for STAR Math and accelerated math at her school."

She is credited with using innovative and creative teaching methods in her classroom, including such instructional strategies as lesson-based formative assessments, incorporating real-world scenarios and daily activities designed to strengthen math and problem-solving skills.

"She also facilitates regular math workshops that promote problem-solving, reinforce math strategies taught in the classroom and allow for small group instruction," Cannon said. "One activity that Mrs. Harper created to help engage students and teach financial literacy was a mock student-run bank and store. Students learned how to write checks, track expenditures through spreadsheets and calculate deposits."

As the Wayne County representative, Mrs. Harper will be recognized at the annual N.C. Council of Teachers of Mathematics math conference in Greensboro Nov. 1. She will also receive a one-year membership in NCCTM and a personalized award and her name will also appear in the fall issue of the NCCTM journal, the Centroid, and on the organization's website.