Chagrin Falls Middle School Math Teacher Wins National Teaching Award

Longtime Chagrin Falls Middle School math teacher Mr. Geoff Brown has received the prestigious Edyth May Sliffe Award for Distinguished Mathematics Teaching in Middle School. This national award, given by the Mathematical Association of America (MAA), recognizes exceptional teachers who motivate students in math by getting them involved in national math competitions.

Brown has taught math at both Chagrin Middle and High School for more than 20 years. He has long promoted participation in the MAA's AMC 8 competition among his Honors Geometry and Algebra students. In their nomination letter, Superintendent Dr. Jennifer Penczarski and Director of Curriculum Becky Quinn praised Brown's "exceptional work with students" and his "deep understanding of not only the academic needs of his advanced and gifted students, but also the social and emotional needs they possess."  CFMS Principal Laila Discenza, Brown’s colleagues, and parents of current and past students could not agree more. 

The nomination also described Brown’s commitment to ongoing high-quality teaching and learning, “His continued efforts to connect topics in Math to real world experiences, daily news, and student interests through problems posed in the classroom enhance student enjoyment in Math. His classroom grading practices, which allow and encourage students to retake quizzes or tests, are highly successful in building student confidence and perseverance in Math problem-solving. Mr. Brown first encourages students to make corrections to missed items and explain why an error occurred.  Students are then provided a new problem on the same topic to apply their new understanding. This reinforces a Growth Mindset for our students and encourages them to try problems that may initially seem impossible.”

Through his engaging teaching methods, enthusiasm for math, and dedication to building students' confidence in tackling tough problems, Brown inspires a lifelong love of mathematics in many students. As part of his award, he will attend the 2024 MAA MathFest national conference in August. He also will receive a $500 award. The event draws mathematicians from across the country.

At Chagrin Falls Schools, Brown is not only a leader in the classroom, but within the District.  He serves on the District Leadership Team and continues to seek out ongoing professional development opportunities for teachers of gifted learners.  “Geoff Brown truly exemplifies a teacher who inspires his students to grow and thrive,” said Penczarski.