Claes Nobel Educators of the Year
NSHSS is pleased to highlight our 2013 Claes Nobel Educators of the Year, presented to ten exemplary educators who have demonstrated an outstanding commitment to preparing students for success in college and in life. These ten educators are among NSHSS’s student-nominated Claes Nobel Educators of Distinction program that recognizes educators who model best practices in teaching, are a positive influence for students and peers, and who have demonstrated outstanding leadership and excellence in education, as well as community engagement. Since the inception of the Educators of Distinction program in 2004, NSHSS has recognized more than 38,000 educators worldwide.
Dr. Teresita Lemus
John A. Ferguson Senior High School, Miami, Florida
Dr. Teresita Lemus was honored recently at the NSHSS member event held at The Carter Center in Atlanta as one of the 2013 Top Ten Claes Nobel Educators of the Year. She is a National Board Certified teacher who has been selected several times as the Mathematics Teacher of the Year at Ferguson Senior High. She has served as the Sponsor for Mu Alpha Theta Math Honor Society for 16 years, having taken students to State and National Mathematics Competitions on multiple occasions. She teaches Advanced Placement (AP) Calculus I, Advanced Placement (AP) Calculus II, as well as Pre-Calculus Honors. She holds a Masters of Science Education Mathematics from the University of Miami and a Doctorate Degree in Adult Education from NOVA Southeastern University, where she is also an adjunct professor.
Her teaching philosophy is one of inclusion: " I believe that every student has the ability to learn, and when academic subjects are presented in a personal and interactive way that students will respond accordingly. Additionally, I believe that instructors need to display passion and excitement for their subject and be able to reach out to their respective students through engagement and positive reinforcement. I always take into account that not all students learn in the same way or in the same rate. And therefore use written, visual, and hands-on teaching methods in my classroom. I have found that by mixing and matching these different styles I can engage all of my students." She believes in the importance of having very high standards and holding students to those standards "by setting goals and objectives that are neither impossible to achieve nor very easy to achieve." She frequently receives accolades from universities such as MIT, Georgia Institute of Technology, and the University of Chicago for providing a solid mathematical background as well as serving as a source of inspiration to their incoming college freshmen.
Her nominating student wrote that "Dr. Lemus doesn't just teach you Calculus, she makes sure you understand it. She is always willing to help out her students and the fact that she really knows her material helps when she is teaching and explaining it; she prepares you greatly for the AP test. She educates you in a way that makes you actually like mathematics. She should really be recognized for her long hours of dedication to what she does and love. Plus she is the best Mu Alpha Theta sponsor ever!"
Dr. Lemus was recently profiled in the Miami Herald recognizing her award, in which Principal Lisa Robertson described her dedication, "She’s here before school and late into the afternoon, after the rest of the teachers have gone home. She’s on call 24/7 to support and mentor students... I just wish she could be cloned for all schools to have the privilege of working with her.”