Ms. Kerry Gruizenga
Every year, the Montana Council of Teachers of Mathematics (MCTM) recognizes the significant contributions made by one of its members by awarding the Dean Prebble Memorial Award. The award is named in honor of Dean Prebble who made significant contributions to the council before passing away from cancer in the fall of 1998. This year the award was given to Kerry Gruizenga at the annual general meeting and luncheon held at the Montana Federation of Professional Employees (MFPE) Educators’ Conference in Billings, MT on October 19, 2023.
Kerry has taught mathematics at Skyview High School for 16 years. Over her career, she has taught nearly every course offered to students at this large AA high school, including Pre-Algebra, Algebra 1, Geometry, Geometry Recovery, AP Statistics, Dual-Credit College Algebra and Dual-Credit College Trigonometry. Kerry demonstrated a willingness to lead in her efforts to initiate dual-credit courses at Skyview – making it possible for students to earn college credit while taking her high school courses. Kerry’s commitment to her students extends beyond the confines of her classroom. She currently supervises the National Honor Society at Skyview. She has also served as the Speech and Debate coach. She has assisted with many dramatic plays at the school, most recently as the director. Kerry herself is an accomplished actor, a veteran of many plays with the Billings Studio Theater and the Nova Center for Performing Arts. Her support of students’ extra-curricular activities involves long hours after school and on weekends – a demonstration of her deep well of generosity and enthusiasm. Her work in this area encourages her students’ passions for the expressive arts – balancing nicely her work in the classroom where she also enthusiastically encourages their passionate pursuit of mathematical knowledge.
Kerry’s commitment to excellence in the teaching and learning of mathematics extends well beyond her work at Skyview. In 2015, Kerry was awarded the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) – the highest honor bestowed by the US government in science, technology, engineering and math teaching. Kerry also is a National Board Certified teacher, the most respected professional certification available in education. Kerry has been heavily involved in the Montana Council of Teachers of Mathematics (MCTM). Kerry served as the MFPE Conference Chairwoman from 2009-2012. She is a regular contributor to the conference. In 2019 Kerry was elected to the MCTM board of directors. As a member of this working board, Kerry, perhaps more than anyone in recent times, took very seriously the work of the council. She served on the scholarship committee. She served as co-chair of the MCubed committee. After her 3-year term ended, Kerry volunteered to become the new statewide Coordinator of the MCTM State Math Contest – an enormous responsibility where she oversees the writing, proofing and administration of the contest for some 4000 students in a dozen locations around the state.
The Prebble Award recognizes teachers that demonstrate a consistent and significant level of contribution to mathematics teaching and learning and, at the same time, make significant professional contributions outside of the classroom – these criteria are all well represented in the record of Kerry Gruizenga. Thank you, Kerry, for your strong commitment to Montana mathematics and congratulations on your well-earned award.