TROY — Troy High School math teacher Jacqui Lehmkuhl describes herself as being a pirate … a pi-rate that is well-rounded and a little bit irrational for her love of math.
She describes her teaching style as being passionate, quirky and committed to each student.
“I still feel that everybody can learn math,” she said. “We can take you from where you are and we can have you grow almost exponentially if you want to.”
Her personal brand of passion has enabled her to help students for the 18 years she has been teaching, 14 of which have been at Troy High School.
Last year she was the awardee for West District from the Ohio Counsel of Teachers of Mathematics, which qualified her to get her name into the state list for Outstanding Mathematics Teacher. She said the latter award is given to one teacher per state.
On Aug. 1, she received the word that she won the state-wide Outstanding Mathematics Teacher, which she said resulted in a happy dance at home.
“I was pleasantly surprised, but I would say I was more humbled and honored because the award was nominated by a colleague,” she said. “So it’s always nice when somebody you work with nominates you and sees the work you are doing.”
In addition to teaching students from all four grade levels during the day, she is an adviser to the Math Club mathletes. Under her direction, the mathletes formed Math Buddies, which pairs high school students with fifth graders at Forest Elementary to help the elementary students learn math.
“I also do days at McDonalds and have done three sessions this summer: McLines, McExponents, McRadicals, where we meet at McDonalds over the weekend for two hours and go over whatever the kids need help with,” she said.
Michelle Owens is a math teacher at Troy High School and the colleague who nominated Lehmkuhl for Outstanding Mathematics Teacher, and praised Lehmkuhl for making Troy High School a better place.
“Jacqui is very passionate about her work and she’s probably one of the most passionate and hardworking teachers that I know,” she said. “Her students and their learning is her number one priority. Any students who have her know at the end of the year they’re going to know their content.”
Lehmkuhl will receive her award Oct. 15 during the Ohio Council of Teachers of Mathematics annual conference in Sharonville.