Bell receives state award for math education

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By Kelly Cantrall

Math education at Helmwood Heights Elementary School was highlighted with recognition of the teaching techniques of one of its educators.


Mary Bell, a third-grade teacher at Helmwood, received a Mathematics Education Service and Achievement award from the Kentucky Council of Teachers of Mathematics. Bell was one three teachers in the state to receive the award.

She was nominated by Jane Hunt, who worked at Helmwood last year as a math coach. Hunt worked with each teacher on new math standards implemented in the state.

The award recognizes teachers who have embraced the new standards and are teaching their students in conceptual ways and just asking for memorization of rules, she said.

Bell was aware Hunt planned to nominate her for the award, but after several months, she forgot about it until she received an email announcing she won.

Bell said she saw the award as recognition of the school as a whole.

“I feel like it’s a way to show our school is embracing new ways” to teach math, she said.

Because she enjoys math, helping students understand the subject and find it fun is rewarding for her.

Bell said teachers in the Elizabethtown Independent Schools district have taken a lot of time to work through new math standards. The new standards spread some lessons out among grade levels but push other lessons down to younger students. Bell understands the lessons, she said, and that’s made it easier to work them into her classroom.

“It was something that made sense to me,” she said.

Bell was a math minor in college, and “because that’s a passion of mine, that made it special” to be recognized for her teaching skills in that subject, she said.

Kelly Cantrall can be reached at (270) 505-1747 or kcantrall@thenewsenterprise.com.