2019 Teacher of the Year:
Jordanna Maga is a high school math teacher in American Samoa, teaching at her alma mater - Tafuna High School- since 2010. She currently teaches AP calculus and calculus, and has taught precalculus and probability & statistics in previous years. She holds an Master of Education in Secondary Education and a Bachelor of Science in Applied Mathematics from Hawaii Pacific University. She served as the chair and vice-chair on several committees throughout her tenure including the Tafuna High School Faculty Advisory Council of the school’s honor society and the Curriculum & Instruction focus group. She is a member of the school’s leadership team, and has served as an advisor for student organizations such as the student council and honor society, and mentor for both the math competition and Junior Reserve Officers’s Training Corps academic teams.
Maga believes that all students, regardless of their background and interest, can achieve success in math. She is committed everyday to changing students’ negative perceptions toward math by implementing a project-based type of learning in her classroom. She believes this approach is one of the most effective ways to help students understand complex topics while simultaneously, enhancing their ability to develop problem-solving skills. She encourages students to value math in their lives by looking for patterns and connections between what they are learning inside the classroom and what they can leran from the world around them.
Her teaching is particularly driven by the realization that the world needs more critical thinkers and problem solvers; therefore, she makes sure her students are engaged in meaningful and relevant learning activities that promote the skills needed to succeed in the 21st century.