NMSI Teachers of the Year Honored in DC

Three Alabama teachers — all participants in A+ College Ready’s Advanced Placement Training and Incentive Program (APTIP) — were honored May 23rd at the third annual “National Math and Science Initiative All American Teacher of the Year Awards” in Washington, D.C.

One honoree, Diann Frucci of Loveless Academic Magnet Program (LAMP) in Montgomery, said they “really rolled out the red carpet” for the honorees. “They held a reception for us, and we were able to spend some time talking with our state’s congressional staff on education issues in Alabama. It was a real honor.”

Frucci has been at LAMP for 24 years, and has worked with A+ College Ready’s AP programs since they began. She teaches AP language and literature composition for 11th graders.

“While it was gratifying to receive such incredible recognition,” said Frucci, “I feel that I accepted it on behalf of all the hard-working teachers in Alabama. There are so many that do great things to help students achieve, yet they often go unnoticed.”

Only 23 teachers nationwide were recognized in D.C. by the National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI), which hosted the event. The other two honorees from Alabama are Scott Sharp, AP Calculus teacher from Huntsville High School and Leigh Brown, AP Chemistry teacher from Huntsville High School. In addition to teaching AP, Frucci and Sharp serve as AP Lead Teachers for their districts, mentoring and coaching other AP teachers in their disciplines.

“Diann serves as the English Lead Teacher for the Montgomery Public Schools, providing exceptional support and guidance to AP teachers and students in the five A+CR Program schools in Montgomery,” said Mary Boehm, president of A+ College Ready.

In 2008 before the A+ program began, there were 204 AP-qualifying scores on math, science and English exams in these schools. In 2011 that had increased to 534 qualifying scores – a 160% increase. “Diann and her colleagues deserve much of the credit for this phenomenal growth and success,” said Boehm.

For AP teachers just beginning APTIP, Frucci gives this advice: “Be open to the experience of your peers, and take full advantage of the professional development opportunities offered by A+ College Ready. We’ve learned that in any classroom, being complacent is a mistake. We have to keep learning and growing.”

APTIP is made possible through a grant from the National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI) with matching support from the Alabama private sector and legislature.

A+ College Ready, a division of the A+ Education Partnership, was created with a $13.2 million grant from NMSI to implement a proven Advanced Placement training and incentive initiative in public schools throughout Alabama.  Key leadership involved in launching and supporting this public-private partnership included the Governor, the State Superintendent of Education, the State Legislature, the Alabama Power Foundation, The Alabama Math, Science and Technology Education Coalition, Regions Financial Corporation, Boeing, Incorporated and ExxonMobil Corporation.  For more information, please visit www.apluscollegeready.org.