Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Northbrook High Math Teacher Named Presidential Award Finalist

News Summary

A Northbrook High School teacher is one of 10 math and science teachers from across Texas named a finalist for the 2015 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST). Jonathan Claydon will compete for a $10,000 award as the best teacher in the state.

A Northbrook High School calculus and pre-calculus instructor is one of 10 math and science teachers from across Texas to have been named a finalist for the 2015 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST).

Jonathan Claydon is one of five Texas finalists in secondary mathematics whose innovations in instructional methods brings teaching to real life, announced Texas Commissioner of Education Michael Williams on Aug. 13.  

The PAEMST award is the highest recognition a math or science teacher can earn for exemplary teaching in the United States. The National Science Foundation (NSF) administers PAEMST on behalf of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

“These finalists represent the very best of Texas public education,” Commissioner Williams said in a news release. “The work of these educators helps to spotlight on a national level the outstanding work taking place in math and science classrooms across our state every school day.”

The 2015 Texas finalists announced in secondary mathematics are:
  • Jonathan Claydon (Spring Branch ISD) – Precalculus and Calculus AB teacher, Northbrook High
  • Darla Emerson (Lovejoy ISD) – Statistics teacher at Lovejoy High School
  • Rebecca Cordell Grant (Plano ISD) – Math 8-Honors teacher at Haggard Middle School
  • Patty C. Hill (Austin ISD) – Algebra I and Algebra II teacher at Kealing Middle School
  • Penny Smeltzer (Round Rock ISD) – AP Statistics teacher at Westwood High School
The 2015 Texas finalists announced in secondary science are:
  • Carol Brown – AP/Pre-AP Chemistry teacher at St. Mary’s Hall in San Antonio
  • Sheri Cole (Clear Creek ISD) – Seventh-grade science teacher at Seabrook Intermediate School
  • Cara Johnson (Allen ISD) – Anatomy & Physiology teacher at Allen High School
  • Mark Misage (Eanes ISD) – AP Physics teacher at Westlake High School
  • Ferleshare Starks (Houston ISD) – Biology teacher at Phillis Wheatley High School

A Friendswood High School graduate, Claydon went on to earn a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Houston. He graduated from UH cum laude with honors and university honors in 2006.

He has developed a singular approach to math education. “My students do not listen to lectures. My students produce something every day. My students do well because they know I believe in their ability to do well,” Claydon states.

During his six years at Northbrook High, Claydon has lead an effort to change grading methods for sixth through 12th grade to a feedback-based approach based on student notebooks. He’s also served as an Algebra I advisor to help with the adoption of new methods, and he’s rewritten and tested new Algebra II curriculum.

Claydon created and updates a clearly written, compelling and well-designed blog, called Infinite Sums (, recognized by the popular social media and YouTube presenter Dan Meyer, who is well known for speaking about the marvels of real-world math.

In addition to math, Claydon has coached middle and high school soccer students.

Claydon now competes with the four other Texas finalists to be named the state’s mathematics teacher of the year, and then will compete nationally. The finalists will be honored by the State Board of Education (SBOE) later this year.

If selected as the Texas representative in math, Claydon will receive a $10,000 award from NSF, an expenses-paid trip for two to Washington, D.C., for his award and professional development related events, as well as a signed certificate from President Barack Obama.

To learn more, please visit:

Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching:

Infinite Sums blog updates by SBISD Calculus Teacher Jonathan Claydon:


Post a Comment

Do you have feedback? Tell us.