HUNTER woman Corinne Vingerhoed is “still in shock” after being named the nation’s top maths teacher at the Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute’s Choose Maths Awards.
The Hunter School of the Performing Arts teacher and University of Newcastle tutor, 24, was named the winner of the 2018 Mentoring Girls in Maths award on Friday, for her approach to fostering her female students’ learning of and engagement with mathematics.
The prize includes $10,000 for professional development and $10,000 for the school’s maths program.
“I’ve still got my heart going fast,” Ms Vingerhoed told the Herald from Melbourne.
“There are so many amazing teachers here that I did not think I was going to take out the top prize!”
Ms Vingerhoed started a robotics club in her first year at HSPA that has grown to include primary school students; helped establish STEM as an elective for year nine and ten students; and also started a daily maths and Milo free tutoring club, where volunteers come in and help students with maths before school.
Ms Vingerhoed also runs a workshop on two mornings each week to help year 10 students who want to pursue advanced maths to build their skills.
“I’m busy, but it’s worth it,” she said.
“My love for maths pushes me and I really want to share that with other people.
“I want to give girls in particular the opportunity to explore where maths can take them so they can be part of the future, because the future is maths.”
Ms Vingerhoed said despite being a talented maths and science student, she was never told or encouraged to pursue the subjects or engineering as a career.
“I want my students to know there are opportunities out there for them and they’re something everyone can achieve if they work for it.”
Principal Jo Gray said Ms Vingerhoed was an “inspiring teacher in every sense”.
“Her thoughtfulness, her kindness, her thorough preparation and her compassion are second only to her passion for mathematics and for her belief that every student can achieve.”
Singleton Heights Public’s Sarah Rose received a Teacher Excellence Award.