AMTNJ 2018 Scholarship Winners Announced

The Association of Mathematics Teachers of New Jersey Awards Two Scholarships for 2018
Joan J. Vas, Executive Coordinator Scholarship Program

    For the 2017-2018 school year, AMTNJ awarded two students each a $ 3,500 scholarship. This years awardees are Hunter Romanko, Cedar Grove High School, sponsored by our 1998 awardee, Janine Miscia Barboza, Cedar Grove School District K-12 Math/Science supervisor and Karen Villagomez, Passaic Valley Regional High School, sponsored by Dr. Janice-Lynn Shuhan, Passaic Valley Educational Consultant.

    Hunter Romanko will be attending Boston University in the fall. Hunter wrote in his essay that “the uphill climb to make sense of math has given me a great appreciation of mathematics. A good teacher can really alter the way a student sees and digests a specific subject. A lot of students think that they don’t have minds for math, and that simply isn’t true. Every student is difference and thinks differently, so a typical approach to math that isn’t working will make them believe that they don’t like math. If taught is a way that makes sense to them, a teacher will observe a world of difference in how students perform in class and their perception of the subject.” Mrs. Barboza wrote in her letter of recommendation that “Hunter was either the benchmark or the outlier for every math class – a student repeatedly commended and spoken of with high regard. While he is strong in many academic areas, his interest in teaching math has clearly emerged this year and we couldn’t be more proud.”

    Karen Villagomez will be attending Rider University in the fall. Karen wrote in her essay that “I’ve always had a strong compassion for becoming a teacher. I always seemed to work very well with younger children and to be able to provide them with their first steps in education. I consider it to be an honor.” Karen will have a dual major at Rider; mathematics education and elementary education. Dr. Shuhan wrote in her letter of recommendation that “Karen is a self-started, well organized, and is admired by her peers. Her love for tutoring both her peers and helping out younger children (volunteering with the Paterson Boys & Girls Club with children ages 5-12) displays the qualities of a dedicated and compassionate teacher. She is a credit to Passaic Valley Regional High School, her peers and her community.”

    Congratulations to our awardee! Special thanks to the Scholarship Committee consisting of AMTNJ President Tomas Walsh, AMTNJ President Elect Stephanie Cooperman, AMTNJ Treasurer Neil Cooperman and AMTNJ Webmaster Agnes Azzolino along with Joan Vas, Executive Coordinator of the AMTNJ Scholarship Coordinator. It should be noted that this is the 22nd year that AMTNJ has awarded scholarships to graduating high school seniors interested in a career in mathematics education. To date, 58 candidates have received this initial scholarship. Once the initial award has been made, these awardees are contacted for the next three years and given the chance to apply for a renewal scholarship. The amount of the renewal scholarship is dependent upon available funds at that time. Thank you to the AMTNJ Executive Board and the AMTNJ membership for their continued support of this program. Special thanks to President Thomas Walsh for his generous support of the program.

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All photos by F. S. Chin.