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March 6, 2013

Methuen math teacher earns prestigious award

METHUEN — What do you get when you add together the numbers 15, 16/18 and 13?

Meredith Moore, an Advanced Placement calculus teacher, knows.

She was one of 15 teachers recognized with a Partners in Excellence award from Mass Insight Education, a Boston nonprofit focused on education, and who will receive the awards tomorrow night at the Museum of Science in Boston.

“It’s being recognized for the time and work I’ve put in with AP students, and recognition for them and the success they’ve had,” Moore said.

Key to her being chosen was that 16 out of 18 students in one of her AP class last school year passed the AP exam, earning a score of at least 3 out of a possible 5. “That’s just outstanding,” said Joseph Harb, the AP course coordinator at Methuen High. “She’s a teacher who has high expectations, but she helps them through it every single day.”

Moore, a teacher at Methuen for 13 years, has been teaching calculus, an advanced math system that uses algebra and geometry to predict change, for 12 of those years, and AP calculus for more than four.

Math long has been a strong subject for her, saying her friends in college would go to her with questions before their professors. “I’ve always loved calculus,” she said. “It’s interesting and a challenge. There are different ways to show something, so it’s never boring.”

She said she uses the idea that, somewhat counter-intuitively, advanced math is not rigid and allows for creativity to sell students on a subject or level that can sound intimidating. Students can experiment to find an answer. “I think it helps them not to be afraid to just try something if they’re unsure. Even if the method is one I wouldn’t use, it still might be correct,” she said.

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