Homework: District 51 math specialist garners statewide award

Carla Haas, math content specialist for middle schools in District 51, is receiving an award from the state for her work.

Carla Haas spent seven years teaching math in the classroom, where the grunt work is done, and she never received a big award.

It’s part of the reason that she’s embarrassed — but grateful — to receive statewide recognition for her work in giving math teachers the resources they need.

Haas, School District 51’s math content specialist for middle schools, will receive the Colorado Council of
Teachers of Mathematics’ math leader award later this month in Denver. The group gives out teaching awards in six regions of the state annually, but the math leader award is the first statewide award it has issued.

“There was no one more deserving,” Palisade High School math teacher Ann Conaway said. “The strongest people we have at the district level are people who keep the filter of a classroom teacher.”
Conaway, Ann Petersen, the district’s math content specialist for high schools, and a math coordinator in Greeley nominated Haas for the math leader award.

Haas said she and the district’s other math content specialists are working to align the district’s math curriculum to help teachers figure out the most important components of math to teach. In the past year, she said they also have offered professional learning classes in the evening and organized a charter bus and secured some federal grant money to allow 90 teachers and administrators to attend a national math conference in Salt Lake City.

Conaway said Haas is a good listener who has been instrumental in writing grants to introduce more technology into the classroom.

“She provides us with the support we need while simultaneously pushing us for more,” Conaway said.

Haas taught math at Mount Garfield Middle School for four years and at Central High School for three years before moving to her current position.


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