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Posted: November 8, 2008 5:00 a.m.

Teacher Profile - Adrienne Boisson

Young teacher is Newton High School’s 2009 teacher of the year

By Mandi Singer /

Math Star: Three-year teacher Adrienne Boisson teaches Math I and Geometry at Newton High School. She was selected as the 2009 Teacher of the Year for the school

Math is rarely a favorite subject of any student, but at Newton High School Adrienne Boisson works hard to make sure that her students at least understand basic concepts of mathematics even if they don't necessarily enjoy it.
Though she has only been teaching for the last three years - all at NHS - Boisson is the school's 2009 Teacher of the Year, something she said she was not prepared for and was shocked to have been honored.
"It feels early," she said. "But I think that I've been so involved in the school that it has made me more visible - but we all work so hard in here; it is not just me. All of the teachers work hard."
And Boisson is no exception to that rule. She grew up with one goal in mind - to be an engineer. She graduated high school and went to college to become an engineer, but while in school she began working with a nonprofit, coordinating and teaching for the organization. It was then that she realized she loved the teaching aspect of things.
"I was on my way to becoming an engineer," she said with a laugh. "But I just loved the teaching so much. I loved working with the parents and the students. I had always been told I would make a good teacher, but I never had any interest in pursuing it at all but I found the work to be so, rewarding."
Boisson stopped her engineering program and began studying math, a subject she had always excelled in and enjoyed, at Spelman College where she received her bachelor's degree in math. She is currently working on her master's in math education from Georgia State.
When trying to decide which grades to teach, Boisson decided that since she knew she did not want to teach middle school grades as the level of math that most interested her was high school. She currently teaches Math 1 and geometry.
"I relate well with kids this age, especially the 10th and 11th graders," she said. "And I try to impress upon them now things I think they will need in the near future." Boisson credits former math teachers as well as friends of her mother who were educators in making the subject fun for her.
"I was very blessed that I had great math teachers. I can still tell you all their names," she said. "I don't know how many people got that, and they made it cool for me. I want to do that for my students."
"So many of the students get overwhelmed and they think that math is just so hard. I just keep reminding them that we only do four things in math. No matter how big the theorem seems, it all comes back to those four things - addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. If I can get the kids to buy into that and if I can help them break a problem down and make it more manageable, then I am successful."
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