Mrs. Karen Knar won Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching.
Karen Knar, Whitnall High School Math teacher, won the PAEMST or the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. She is one of the two Wisconsin State finalists in Mathematics. There were also three Wisconsin State finalists in Science. Mrs. Knar, as she is known by her students who use her maiden name which she says is “easier than remembering Blackburn”, was notified in June of 2011 by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. She and the other Finalists were honored at a ceremony in Madison on January 25, 2012.
“The ceremony was really wonderful!” says Mrs. Knar. After the ceremony they were invited to stay and collaborate with a select number of individuals around the state who are members of Wisconsin’s leadership teams in Mathematics and Science. They discussed commonalities between the Common Core “Practices” between Math and Science. The meeting was the first of its kind for the state. The teams usually meet separately. Mrs. Knar was nominated for this award by a student who was apart of the ASC, Academic Support Center, and was never “formally” her own student. Along with the “honor” of being selected she won a framed award, a certificate and a clock. Her family attended the ceremony with her, as well as the UW-Madison (former) Chancellor Wiley who spoke and a leader in Mathematics education and the Mathematics Coordinator at DPI, Diana Kasbaum who presented her the award.
Karen Knar has been teaching for 29 years. She attended the University of Wisconsin at Madison and majored in Mathematics and Education. Knar has worked at Dodgeville High School, Southwestern Technical School in Fennimore, Muskego High School, New Berlin Eisenhower High School, UW-Fond du Lac and now Whitnall High School. This is her 18th year at WHS where she exclusively taught in the classroom for the first twelve years. In her 13th year (2006-2007) she started the Academic Support Center (ASC). The ASC is a support center for students who need extra help, need to make up quizzes and tests and is a place to help students who are struggling in class so they don’t have to be ashamed of needing help. She was selected because of her work outside of the classroom in tutoring. Knar now is back in the classroom teaching Algebra, Geometry, and Algebra II.
Karen Knar also has been submitted for the National Level of the PAESMT. They will hear about the selections during the 2011-2012 school year. If she wins she would receive $10,000 and a paid trip to Washington D.C for a ceremony with the President. Mrs. Knar is very excited about the award and is happy to be honored for her hard work. “It’s wonderful to be acknowledged in such a formal way. I treasure all the compliments from students over the years. Their words mean a great deal,” Mrs. Knar reflects.
We are all so proud of Mrs Knar and all the help and work she puts into teaching her students and congratulate her on her great honor. Our fingers are crossed she will be honored as well on the National Level.