The Illinois Council of Teachers of Mathematics has bestowed its annual teaching excellence award to Evanston Township High School math teacher Richard Kaplan.
The 2015 T. E. Rine Award for Excellence in Secondary Mathematics Teaching recognizes highly motivated math teachers in the state who have prolonged effective service in the classroom, have contributed to the advancement of mathematics education, and have influenced others toward improved math education, according to a media release from the school.
Before starting his 17-year tenure at ETHS, Kaplan spearheaded an effort at Lake View High School to increase enrollment of Black and Latino students in Advanced Placement Calculus by combining extra support during the school year with summer enrichment opportunities.
He brought this model to Evanston and was instrumental in leading the transformation of AB Calculus Advanced Placement classes to be more representative of the student body at ETHS.
The work of Kaplan and his colleagues resulted in a 12-time increase in students of color taking AB Calculus since he began working at ETHS.
“Rich has globally transformed mathematics equity, access, and success for all students at two different high schools, and has been a pioneer for change at ETHS,” remarked ETHS Math Department Chair Dale Leibforth.
Added Superintendent Eric Witherspoon: “Rich equips his students not only with the skills they will need in math classes, but also in their other classes and in college, teaching them life skills and how to be skillful learners and thoughtful problem solvers in many different settings.”
Kaplan will be recognized at the ICTM annual meeting and conference in October.