Hard Work Adds Up for Mandarin Oaks Math Teacher; the County Named Her Mathematics Educator of the Year

By Scanlan, Dan | The Florida Times Union, May 23, 2009 | Go to article overview

Hard Work Adds Up for Mandarin Oaks Math Teacher; the County Named Her Mathematics Educator of the Year


Scanlan, Dan, The Florida Times Union


Byline: DAN SCANLAN

It all added up for Mandarin Oaks Elementary School teacher Claire Redmond this month.

One of three finalists for 2009 Mathematics Educator of the Year, Redmond was presented the award May 11 by the Duval Elementary Mathematics Council.

The native Oregonian has taught kindergarten at the school at 10600 Hornets Nest Road since 2005, right after she moved to Jacksonville after receiving her master's degree in elementary education. Now she has been honored for her mathematics teaching abilities.

"I am in a little bit of shock. I had a tremendous amount of respect for the other finalists," Redmond said. "For me to be a kindergarten teacher and to have people recognize the importance of math at such an early level is great. ... And [the judges] realize it all starts at the bottom."

Principal Patti Carson, who hired Redmond, said Redmond understands how important it is to get the youngest students interested in mathematics.

"She is really into it and an inspiration to the other primary teachers, too. They have learned a lot from her, and what is so impressive is she continues to want to grow, not only in the area of math," Carson said. "She has really helped the kindergarten teachers understand math investigations and math workshop format a lot better."

Born in Oregon in 1981, Redmond graduated from Santa Clara University in California with a bachelor's degree in liberal studies, then received a master's in elementary education in 2005 from the University of Oregon. The day she finished that degree, she moved to Jacksonville when her husband transferred to a job here. Her first full-time teaching job in Jacksonville was as a kindergarten teacher at Mandarin Oaks.

Mathematics is just part of the daily curriculum for kindergarten teachers, and Redmond spent that part of Monday working with students in a corner of her classroom, sitting on the floor or in a rocking chair as she wrote on a nearby board. …

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