Congratulations to 2016 LATM Lifetime Service Award
Recipient, Nell McAnelly
The Lifetime Service to Mathematics Education Award recognizes
a LATM member for distinguished service in the field of
mathematics education who made extraordinary contributions to
the advancement of education in mathematics and/or mathematics
teaching over a significant period of time. The nominee must
have been a member of LATM for a minimum of 5 years and also
exhibited an excellence of contribution to the LATM
Those are exceptionally high standards that we have set for
this award and due to its highly selective nature, we have no
expectation that we will present this award each year. As the
term “Lifetime” suggests, we are referring to someone who has
dedicated almost all of their adult life towards exemplary
work in mathematics education and has now completed or is
completing that life’s work.
As I think through other criteria that might be looked at such
Active leadership in mathematics education at local, state, or
Noteworthy scholarly contributions to mathematics education at
Direct and substantial contributions to the improvement of
math education at any level and
Overall excellence of contributions,
I realize that few could be said to have done even half
of these things. However, our awardee today has accomplished
all of the above and so much more!
When our awardee started college, she began to set her course
in life as she steered towards a degree in mathematics
education. That gave her a solid foundation, and while
teaching mathematics and science in high school, she continued
her education by attaining a Master’s of Education in
Administration and Supervision. At about that time, she
started a career of teaching mathematics at the college level
that lasted over 30 years.
Our awardee has served as an Associate Director of a center
that provides mathematics educational outreach across the
state. She has won numerous teaching awards including the BP
Amoco Award for Undergraduate Teaching (chosen by peers),
George H. Deer Distinguished
Teaching Award (chosen by peers), and Tiger Athletic
Foundation Junior Division Excellence in Teaching Award
(chosen by students).
Her service to mathematics includes local, state, and national
she has held membership and offices in Baton Rouge Area
Council Teachers of Mathematics (BRACTM).
Her time as a member (20+ years) of LATM demonstrates
outstanding dedication as she served in many roles.
Her leadership on the Executive Council was invaluable,
especially when she served as Treasurer. She willingly served
on any committee asked of her and performed exemplary work.
Our awardee’s leadership in mathematics education extended
throughout the state and nation.
She has served as Project Investigator and Lead
Instructor for numerous LaSIP professional development
projects funded through the state of Louisiana.
She directed many other state mathematics grants
including those for MSP, LaGEAR UP, LRCE, and 8(g).
She was also the Executive Director of Quality Science
and Mathematics. Many of you may have benefitted from this
generous grant source for science and mathematics teachers in
the past or may soon receive.
Her most recent grant work has served to change the landscape
of mathematics education across our country. She was the
Project Director of what is known at the national level as
Engage New York. There she guided a national team in the
development of challenging K-12 curriculum to support our new
rigorous national standards. Today
this curriculum is marketed as Eureka Math and is being used
across the United States.
Our awardee has been involved in the scholarship of
mathematics education on many levels.
She has co-authored a LATM Journal column for the past
10 years. While
at the college level, she wrote curriculum for math courses
including a Number Sense course and Algebraic Thinking course
for elementary education majors.
In addition to writing and teaching the courses, she
mentored numerous faculty who also taught the courses.
I came on the Executive Council of LATM eleven years ago. From
my very first day there, I was instantly in awe of this
person. Anytime I questioned what I needed to do, I picked up
the phone and called her. She was always the most gracious
person and gave me moral support and shared words of wisdom.
There were times we would drive and meet halfway to sit and
have in-depth discussions about LATM, math standards, reform
in mathematics, and other topics.
I am amazed that she would have time to devote to anything
else in her life….. but she has been able to make it all
balance! Family, certainly has always come first. Her husband,
Bob has been a constant support for her in all her endeavors…
professionally, or otherwise. Her daughters and son were
always a source of great joy. She is so proud of her three
grandchildren, Caitlyn, Jacob, and Sean. They live in Houston,
but she makes time to get there as often as possible.
Jim and Kristen have truly blessed her. You only have
to ask her once if she has any pictures! Just within the last
year, Meghan brought her a son in law, Phil. She was also
devoted to her siblings.
We’ve talked mathematics and family, but there is still more!
Our honoree has found time to offer community involvement, as
well. She has
been active with the Academic Distinction Fund by serving on
the Board of Directors, as an officer, and with committee
membership and with the Girl Scouts USA at the national level
and with the Audubon Girl Scout Council. She served on the ARC
of Louisiana Foundation Board, Volunteer Baton Rouge, the
Louisiana Arts and Science Center, Best Buddies, and many
other organizations. I know that her work in all of these
areas also reflected on her work with mathematics. If that
weren’t enough, she has mentored many educators as they have
become outstanding mathematics educators and leaders in the
mathematics education community, in their own right.
Is there still time for fun? Certainly, nothing gets in the
way of her
annual antiquing trip with her friends. She loves to travel….
All over the world…. Whether with family or friends. And did I
mention, she has an affinity for fine wines?
As I was driving over on Sunday…. And wondering what I might
say, I reflected on an activity that Tricia Miller and I had
done at the NCTM Affiliates Leadership conference….. We talked
about the Qualities of a good leader. As we thought of people
we knew who seemed to be exemplary leaders, we wrote down
those qualities. In the end, we compared those to
The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader
by John C. Maxwell.
Certainly, when I went through the list,
it became evident to me that
our awardee today possesses all of these qualities and more.
I’m only sharing 10 of Mr. Maxwell’s qualities with you.
- Be a piece of the rock.
– Without it you travel alone.
– If you build it, they will come.
– Your candle loses nothing when it lights another.
– To connect with their hearts, use your ears.
– Take this life and love it.
– If you believe you can, you can.
– If you won’t carry the ball, you can’t lead the team.
– To keep leading, keep learning.
– You can seize only what you can see.
I think these qualities shine through in Nell McAnelly, LATM’s
2016 Lifetime Service to Mathematics Education awardee…… don’t
you all agree?
Presented by: Maryanne Smith, LATM Past President