LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- Seventh grade math teacher Dawn Boling has been named a WHAS-TV ExCel Award winner and teacher of the year in the New Albany-Floyd County school system. Boling was honored in the school auditorium on Wednesday, May 14, before her colleagues and seventh grade students.
Highland Hills calls itself the Greatest Middle School on the Planet (GMS on P) and, in fact, is the largest middle school in Indiana with 1,500 students.
Boling has been a math and science teacher for 20 years, and a fellow teacher says she has a sense of when students get a concept, or don't. Fellow teacher Therese Stevens calls it a "teacher-sense," an immediate reaction when students need more help.
Boling told WHAS-TV that she gets kids in her classroom every year who say they can't do math. And on the other side, students come into seventh grade with a confident sense that math is their favorite subject. The challenge is to bring them together on the same playing field while creating an environment where they learn together.
And while Boling is described as a hard worker, a "bell to bell" teacher, she is not a great advocate of standardized testing. She believes that students could spend more time learning than preparing for a test. In fact, she said the testing process can cause a student to lose confidence. And she sees confidence as a driving factor for success in math.
As an ExCel Award winner, Bowling received a $1,000 teacher grant from sponsor LG&E/KU. She is the fifth ExCel winner at Highland Hills since the school was founded ten years ago. All of the previous winners watched on Wednesday as Boling joined their ranks.