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Educator Recognition

Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching

2010 New Jersey STATE FINALISTS

Secondary Mathematics
John McAllen

John McAllenJohn McAllen has worked at Point Pleasant Borough High School for 11 years as a teacher of AP Calculus (AB and BC), Honors Pre-Calculus, PreCalculus and Geometry.

John studied Mechanical Engineering at Rutgers College of Engineering and graduated Summa Cum Laude in 1993.  He was awarded a merit appointed research scholarship to continue his studies in Finite Element Methods and graduated second in his class in 1996 with his Masters Degree.  Following college, John worked in industry performing a variety of design engineering roles.  While working at Johnson & Johnson, he invented 5 bio-medical patented devices, some of which are currently used by surgeons today.  Twelve years ago, however, John decided to follow his passion for teaching and was hired by Point Pleasant Borough High School.

Since his arrival, the AP Calculus class size has more than quadrupled, and despite there being no prerequisite for any of his classes, test scores have maintained the highest level of achievement.  To facilitate this, John volunteers to teach AP Calculus two evenings a week in order to give the non-honors students extra attention, and teaches a BC Calculus course after school and during their lunch periods.  John makes it a priority to integrate his engineering experience into the classroom on a daily basis, and solidify the connection between math, physics, statics, dynamics and other applied engineering classes.  “My goal as a teacher of math is not just to ready students for next month’s quiz or next year’s calculus class, but rather to comprehensively prepare them to be 21st century problem solvers and innovators.”

John has also been the first in the district to implement and train faculty on the wireless tablet PC into the classroom.  Teachers can work through problems, show video demonstrations or handwrite notes either facing the class or sitting in the back next to a particular student.  This significantly impacts students who struggle with attention issues as they are far more engaged, focused and attentive and the class moves at a far quicker pace.

In 2009 he was distinguished as the yearbook’s dedication teacher, and was awarded the NJ Governor’s Teacher of the Year 2011.  He has also served as a Professional Learning Community Leader, Chairman of the High School Division Ocean County Math League, Math League supervisor, New Teachers Mentor, Yearbook Advisor, volunteer baseball coach, and National Honors Society committee member.