BOSTON (CBS) – A high school math teacher in South Boston has been named the Massachusetts Teacher of the Year.
Adam Gray teaches tenth-grade math at Monument High School, the first secondary school in New England with a curriculum focused on public safety and criminal justice. This award puts him in the running to be named National Teacher of the Year.
Gray, a Somerville resident, will receive a $5,000 grant from Hannaford Supermarkets.
“It’s very exciting, and a very, very humbling recognition,” he told WBZ NewsRadio 1030 Friday.
Gray talks to WBZ NewsRadio 1030′s Rod Fritz
The state Department of Education said Gray was recognized for his ability to inspire and motivate students to achieve their goals.
He founded Monument High School’s chapter of the Mu Alpha Theta math honor society, on the idea that helping students to enjoy math would improve their performance in the subject. Today, almost 10-percent of the school’s students participate in the group.
“There’s been reports out there that say 63 percent of jobs in 2016, 2017 are going to require post-secondary education, and a lot of those jobs that are going to be in the United States in the future are going to come from science, technology, engineering—math-stemmed subjects,” said Gray, who has taught math at Monument for five years.
“So math is very, very important for the future. It’s important to our students’ well-being down the road, and it’s important to our economy.”
State Commissioner of Education Mitchell Chester and Boston Public Schools Superintendent Carol R. Johnson presented Gray with the award in a ceremony Thursday at the State House.
Gray said he hopes to use his title to elevate the status of public school teachers.
“When I’m in my classroom and I’m in the halls of my school, it’s exciting and I don’t really think a lot about some of the negativities surrounding public education, but it’s not easy,” he said.
“It’s difficult work in the day-to-day, but it’s rewarding work, so I love my job, I love my profession, and I’m looking forward to the next twelve months, hopefully getting some of that respect back to public school teachers.”