WMC professor Fennell wins top educator honor

May 21, 2000

Western Maryland College education professor Francis "Skip" Fennell is the first educator from a liberal arts institution to receive the Glenn Gilbert National Leadership Award from the National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics.

Fennell, who specializes in mathematics instruction for teachers, received the 2000 award at the NCSM annual meeting last month in Chicago. He is one of only a few higher education professors to earn the award since its inception in 1982.

He was nominated by Robyn Silbey and Marci Goldman-Frye, two former graduate students who are now a mathematics specialist and an instructional specialist, respectively, in Montgomery County.

The award is given annually to recognize those educators who have made significant contributions to mathematics education.

A WMC professor since 1976, Fennell returned last fall from a two-year assignment as a program officer at the National Science Foundation. The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) also recently named him editor of a new resource book focusing on the numbers needs of special education students.

He also is one of 25 educators nationwide who co-wrote NCTM's recently released principles and standards for school mathematics. He is a past member of NCTM's board of directors.

In 1997, Fennell was named the Maryland Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. He received WMC's Distinguished Teacher Award that year. He also is a past recipient of the Outstanding Mathematics Educator award from the Maryland Council of Teachers of Mathematics.

He also is known for his collaboration on the 10-part Maryland Public Television Series, "Numbers Alive!", which is based on his "Number Sense Now" program for elementary school teachers.

Fennell earned a bachelor's degree from Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania, master's degree from Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania and doctorate from Pennsylvania State University.

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