Fairmont State University faculty member, Dr. Stephanie Jones, has been named the 2021 College/University Mathematics Teacher of the Year by the West Virginia Council of Teachers of Mathematics. The WVCTM and Jones’ peers honored her achievements during a virtual meeting on Saturday, April 24.
When Jones learned she had received this recognition she was both shocked and grateful.
“I was definitely surprised, but also felt very honored. This recognition makes me feel like the work I’ve been doing is appreciated,” said Dr. Stephanie Jones, Fairmont State University assistant professor. “My students are hands down the best part of my job, and my motivation to continue introducing new, innovative methods of teaching.”
Although Jones was surprised by her selection for this honor by the WVCTM, several of her colleagues submitted nominations in recognition of her efforts in the classroom, noting the product of her work is ‘always impeccable.’ Jones was also nominated by her peers for her responsive teaching strategies, active learning components and utilization of online math support programs.
“We at Fairmont State are thrilled that our colleague Dr. Stephanie Jones has been recognized statewide for her contributions to mathematics education,” said Dr. Steven Roof, Dean of the Fairmont State University College of Science and Technology. “We know firsthand her dedication to the profession and her passion for teaching, assisting, and pushing students to achieve more than they thought possible.”
Jones serves as an Assistant Professor of Mathematics Education at Fairmont State, where she primarily teaches education courses for elementary and secondary teacher candidates. Prior to her tenure at Fairmont State, Jones taught math at Fairmont Senior High School for nine years and was named Secondary Mathematics Teacher of the Year by the West Virginia Council of Teachers in 2015.
Jones graduated with bachelor’s degrees from Fairmont State in mathematics, mathematics education and chemistry education in 2004. She received a master’s degree in mathematics from West Virginia University, and possesses a doctorate of education in curriculum and instruction from WVU.
As alumna of the University and a Marion County native, Jones said it was important for her to come back to her alma mater because she values the need for quality mathematics education in north central West Virginia, and wanted to give back to the community by providing training for future educators.
“We are grateful to have Dr. Jones as a member of our Falcon Family,” said Mirta M. Martin, Fairmont State University President. “Her work has made a profound impact on the lives of our students, and I can think of no one more deserving of this award. We look forward to the continued strengthening of mathematics education throughout the state as Dr. Jones inspires future educators.”
Jones invites conversations with individuals interested in pursuing careers in mathematics education, emphasizing the need for innovative teacher mentors in West Virginia.
“There’s so much opportunity as a math teacher throughout the state, especially at the secondary level in middle school and high school,” Jones said. “Don’t be afraid to break the mold – I encourage my students to develop lesson plans where they’re promoting conversations and engaging students, rather than just providing problems for them to solve and practice.”