‘I think I’m still in shock.’ Columbus math teacher among best in the U.S.

A Muscogee County School District teacher has been honored as one of best math teachers in the United States.

Storie Atkins of Columbus High School is among the 10 winners of the 2019 Edyth May Sliffe Award.

The Mathematical Association of America gives the award annually to middle and high school math teachers who, according to its website, “have done outstanding work to motivate students in mathematics by participating in one of the MAA American Mathematics Competitions.”

Award recipients were selected from nominations by the three students on each of the 60 highest-scoring teams, according to MCSD’s news release. These students were asked to recommend a teacher, who in their opinion, was most responsible for their success in the competition.

The award is named in memory of Edyth May Sliffe (1901-86), who taught math in Emeryville, California. She made a bequest to establish the award.

Each winner receives $500 and an all-expenses-paid trip to the MAA MathFest in Philadelphia next summer, where math teachers and researchers will gather from across the country.

“I think I’m still in shock even though I found out about it last week,” Atkins told the Ledger-Enquirer in an email Monday. “It is humbling to be recognized at a national level by the largest group of mathematicians in the world.”

Columbus High’s three highest-scoring students in the competition last school year were Ty Bondurant, Sohan Shankar and Brian Park, Atkins said, although she doesn’t know who nominated her.

Ledger-Enquirer staff writer Mark Rice covers education and other issues related to youth. He also writes feature stories about any compelling topic. He has been reporting in Columbus and the Chattahoochee Valley for more than a quarter-century. He welcomes your local news tips and questions.