The Grade Blog

Wednesday, May 23 2012 11:44 AM

East High to name wing in honor of math teacher Thursday

By THE BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN

Related article: KHSD officials discuss building naming

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One of the most influential math teachers in California mathematics history will be honored at 4 p.m. Thursday at East High School with the formal dedication of the "Margaret DeArmond Center for Mathematics."

Kern High School District trustees approved at their May 16 meeting the naming of a wing of the school's new math-science building in honor of DeArmond, who retired in 2007 after at 36 year career with KHSD.

"Margaret had a tremendous influence on the lives of thousands, if not tens of thousands of students in Kern County, the state and the nation during her illustrious career," said East High Principal Lee Vasquez in a statement. "It is entirely fitting that she continue to be a fixture in the lives of East Bakersfield High School students forever.

Numerous math educators from around the state are expected to be on hand for the ceremony, Vasquez said.

"Margaret played a key role in the formation of the California High School Exit Exam and was even invited to the White House to discuss math instruction," Vasquez noted.

Former KHSD Superintendent Bill Hatcher is among those who advocated for the creation of the Center named for DeArmond.

"During my 40 year career I have never advocated naming a venue after anyone even though there probably were numerous worthy candidates," Hatcher wrote in a letter of support for the Center's creation. "For such an honor one must have been truly outstanding in their contributions to education. They must have made such an impact that the very system is not only different but somehow better because of their accomplishments. Such is the case with Margaret DeArmond."

The recommendation in support of the "Margaret DeArmond Center for Mathematics" presented to the KHSD board included the following:

"DeArmond inspired many to become math teachers. With her highly respected workshops, she enabled many math teachers to achieve great success. On the state level, Margaret was a Member of the California High School Exit Exam Panel from 1999 to 2001. She figured prominently in the formation of the CAHSEE. As President of the State Math Council from 1996 to 1997, she was integral to a major renovation of the state's math framework which requires all students to pass an algebra course. Margaret's expertise even drew the attention of the White House. During the 1990s, she was invited to meet with then President Bill Clinton and Vice President Al Gore regarding math instruction nationwide."

-- Kern High School District

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