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Willis, Mathematics’ Biggest Cheerleader Makes Learning Fun

Posted on May 16th, 2012

2012 EXCELLENCE IN TEACHING AWARD RECIPIENT, AMBER WILLIS
Miami Union Academy | Southeastern Conference
6th-12th Math

Amber Willis never imagined working in an Adventist school. In fact, she had already signed on with the public school system when God called her to a small Adventist middle school in Atlanta. Ten years later, she is still teaching in the Adventist school system.

“I have learned that this job is more than teaching,” Willis shared. “It’s a ministry. I always say that teaching is my talent, and the bonus is getting a chance to share God’s love while doing it.”

Willis said she is “mathematics’ biggest cheerleader.” She works hard to make learning a positive experience. Before and after school, Willis makes herself available for tutoring students who are struggling.

Each year, her students look forward to Pi Day on March 15. Students spend the entire day making literal pies and implementing the concept through other activities.

Willis used Fantasy Football to teach math concepts, which the students thoroughly enjoyed. When her class won a $1,000 prize, she used the winnings to purchase scientific calculators.

MUA’s principal Renee Hodge said that Willis is a go-getter and is always looking for ways to improve her class, the high school departments and the school at large. “Whatever she can lay her hands on, she shares it, from teaching strategy to fundraising.”

Willis mentors other teachers and conducts workshops for her colleagues and students. In addition, Willis sponsors the junior class and yearbook, and is a member of the academy recruitment team.

“I enjoy connecting the dots between math and Christianity,” said Willis. “My reward comes from seeing the light bulb come on when a student has truly grasped a concept.”

Award presentation was Saturday, May 12, 2012, at Berry University.

Southeastern Conference Superintendent, Carol Byrd, presented the award to Amber Willis.

This award was sponsored by Willis’s alma mater, Oakwood University. AAF would like to publically thank Oakwood for training outstanding educators and for partnering in this year’s Excellence in Teaching Awards.

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