Alumnus to Receive New Teacher Award
by Pamela Batson
Matthew Herdman ’06 Sci certainly isn’t expecting any recognition for his hard work in his new teaching position. He is too busy teaching Algebra I and inclusion Geometry at Penn Hills High School, where he also completed his student teaching.
So he was surprised when he learned that he had been selected to receive the Pennsylvania Council of Teachers of Mathematics (PCTM) New Teacher Award. His mentor, Carol Morris, the math department chair at Penn Hills High School, secretly nominated Herdman for the award. He will be honored at PCTM’s 57th annual conference November 7-8, at the Split Rock Resort at Lake Harmony, Pa., where he will receive a plaque and three years of free membership in PCTM.
“I am truly honored to accept this award,” says Herdman. “My experience at Penn State prepared me greatly for the challenges of teaching. Without the support and guidance of the College of Education staff, I would not be ready to face the day to day realities of teaching. Penn State challenged me to learn ways to incorporate technology, deal with diversity, and prepare my students for their daily lives.”
Besides his classroom duties, he is also involved in an after-school alternative education program, co-sponsors the senior class, and is an active participant in many functions that support the student body. In addition, Herdman is the assistant marching band director and has accompanied the band on trips to Tennessee and North Carolina. Occasionally, he is a guest speaker at the student teaching seminars of his former mentor, Dr. Janet Bobango.
Herdman graduated with honors from the Eberly College of Science in 2006 with Bachelor of Science in mathematics, teaching option. He did his teaching certification through the College of Education.
According to PCTM’s Web site, the purpose of the award is to recognize promising, beginning teachers of mathematics so that they will be encouraged to remain in the profession. To be nominated for this award a candidate must exhibit contagious enthusiasm for students’ learning of mathematics, and demonstrate initiatives in developing innovative strategies in his/her teaching.