George Polya Memorial Award


Teaching is not a science; it is an art. If teaching were a science there would be a best way of teaching and everyone would have to teach like that. Since teaching is not a science, there is great latitude and much possibility for personal differences. … Let me tell you what my idea of teaching is. Perhaps the first point, which is widely accepted, is that teaching must be active, or rather active learning. … The main point in mathematics teaching is to develop the tactics of problem solving. – George Polya

The George Polya Memorial Award may be conferred upon the teacher or teachers, K-12, who have been deemed as outstanding teachers of mathematics over a sustained period of time, have supported CMC activities, have been active participants in CMC, and have high visibility throughout the state of California.

Throughout California there are a number of truly outstanding teachers of mathematics who stand head and shoulders above their colleagues and serve as an inspiring beacon to the experienced as well as the inexperienced teacher.

These are the teachers that CMC wishes to honor with the George Polya Memorial Award.

Previous recipients of the George Polya Memorial Award are:

  • 2020: Jason Slowbe
  • 2019: Peg Cagle
  • 2018: Mary Ann Sheridan
  • 2017: Dina Williams
  • 2016: Tina Shinsato & Natalie Mejia
  • 2014: April Goodman-Orcutt
  • 2012: Brian Shay
  • 2011: Bruce Grip
  • 2010: Gretchen Muller
  • 2009: Cindy McCann
  • 2008: David Robathan
  • 2007: Carlos Cabana
  • 2006: Sandie Gilliam
  • 2005: Sia Lux
  • 2004: Christine Robles
  • 2003: Floyd Flack, Nancy Scheer
  • 2002: Kathlan Latimer, Jerry Neidenbach
  • 2001: Hope Bjerke, Sally Parker
  • 2000: Ann Carlyle, Lois Hale, Gwen Hogin, Les Leibovitch
  • 1999: Amarjit Chadda, James Goth
  • 1998: Barbara Alcala*, Gretchen Davis, Margaret DeArmond
  • 1997: Harold Jacobs
  • 1996: Shelly Ferguson, Donna Goldenstein, Elaine Rosenfield
  • 1995: Richard Schaff*
  • 1994: Marian Pasternack
  • 1993: Sheila Berman, Merry Harrold
  • 1992: Roberta Koss
  • 1991: Mike Contino*, William Medigovich
  • 1990: Dorothy Kirk
  • 1989: Elisabeth Javor*
  • 1988: Joan Gell, Dorothy Wood*, Les Winters
  • 1987: Clyde Corcoran, Ruth Hadley*, Lyle Fisher*

(* Deceased)

George Polya Award Nomination

Nominations are now being accepted for the George Polya Memorial Award. As you think about a nominee, please keep in mind the that the teacher you nominate should be one of the two or three finest teachers that you have ever known.  Since this award is a statewide award, your nominee should be well-known throughout California, not just in a section or region.

Send the following information by September 1 to be considered for the current year’s award:

Please provide the following information about the nominee:

  1. Name
  2. Home Address, City and zip
  3. Home Phone
  4. School and grade level
  5. Years of experience in education

Nominator’s name and contact information (email and phone number).

In one or two pages, explain

  • why this nominee is an outstanding classroom teacher (site specific examples)
  • how this nominee has supported and encouraged the mission of CMC.

Additional information may be needed to help gather background information in support of the nomination.  Please include the names and contact information for other people who could be contacted.

Return by September 1 to:

Rebecca Lewis
CMC Awards Chair