Worcester Coordinator Honored With Math Award

Worcester Coordinator Honored With Math Award
Worcester Coordinator

SNOW HILL — Worcester County Public Schools (WCPS) are once again receiving some state and national attention with Rosemary Heher, Coordinator of Instruction for Mathematics, being recognized this fall as a 2014 Maryland Council of Teachers of Mathematics (MCTM) Excellence in Teaching Award recipient.

Heher has been with the county for 15 years, an educator for nearly double that and has taught at every level of learning from elementary school through university. During her time with WCPS, she has worked on finding easy pathways for continued education for current math teachers and encouraging the sharing of ideas among Eastern Shore educators along with many other programs.

Heher’s experience teaching math to students of every age is unusual and she believes it provides her a unique lens when viewing math curriculum. When asked which grade she prefers to teach, Heher said that each is rewarding in its own way.

“You know, that question comes up a lot but each level is special unto itself … it’s like asking which one of your children is your favorite,” she said.

Collaboration has always been a keyword for Heher and she credited a lot of the success that both she and the math program in Worcester have seen to the number of partnerships that tie everything together. For example, Heher works closely with the eight other mathematics coordinators on this side of the bridge.

“We get together once per month, the math supervisors, there are nine of us so we call ourselves the Eastern Shore nine,” she said. “We get together and we do a number of things.”

These include but are not limited to: group professional development, exchanging lesson plans and teaching strategies as well as using collective leverage when negotiating with vendors.

Heher has also been instrumental in the development of graduate level mathematics courses in partnership with Salisbury University. The courses are specifically for Worcester County teachers and are a point of pride for Heher.

The idea of shared credit and collaboration extends beyond just math supervisors with Heher saying that while she may be the one receiving the MCTM recognition it is really attributable to everyone she works with in Worcester.

“They are not my successes. They are the district’s successes … I see this reward like the links on a bracelet,” she said. “And those links mean that each link is dependent on another. For me, I guess it is recognition, it’s a lifetime achievement award because I guess I have been doing this awhile.”

All of the teachers in the county deserve some credit, Heher continued, since educators are “where the rubber hits the road.” She also acknowledged the influence of Dr. Donald Cathcart from Salisbury University for playing a big part in her own development as a math educator.

Mathematics was not a field that Heher expected to make a career when she was younger. In fact, she disliked numbers and leaned more towards language skills. But math became a personal challenge for Heher and something she grew to love. Now Heher enjoys sharing that love of equations and calculations with students and her fellow teachers.

Heher and the other recipients of the recognition will be given their awards during a ceremony in Baltimore on Oct. 16. She will speak at the national conference in Boston in April.