The Presidential Award recognizes the efforts of mathematics teachers to reform how our students learn and experience mathematics. The award symbolizes a challenge to the status quo, and propels us educators to engage students in discovering the beauty of mathematics and its connections to the world, the power of learning, and the social responsibility of looking out for others. The award motivates us to provide the best service possible to our very deserving students.
Kentaro Iwasaki has loved teaching mathematics for 16 years and spent 13 years at Mission High School. He taught all levels of mathematics, from Algebra through Advanced Placement (AP) Calculus, and served as department head.
His passion for students led him to begin a Math Circle program at his school. He also taught summer sessions in Washington State for migrant students and in Medellin, Colombia for international students. As department head, he increased the number of students, especially students from underrepresented groups, who were enrolled in AP Mathematics five-fold.
Kentaro helped write the mathematics curriculum for Agile Mind through the Dana Center at the University of Texas at Austin. He participated in two National Science Foundation projects, which led him to coauthor an article in a book produced by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, “Empowering the Mentor of the Experienced Mathematics Teacher.”
Kentaro now works at ConnectEd: The California Center for College and Career in Berkeley, CA. He coordinates the mathematics curriculum and professional development for a Federal Investing in Innovation project and the Math Design Collaborative.
Kentaro has a B.A., with honors, in Japanese from Stanford University. He is a National Board Certified Teacher with a secondary teaching credential in mathematics and Japanese.