Upper School Math Teacher Wins Award

You are here

Upper School mathematics teacher Jim Moser (C’04) has been named a 2015 Teacher of Distinction by the Independent Schools of St. Louis. This nonprofit, professional association of 45 member schools, including Principia, honored Moser for his “thoughtful and comprehensive approach” and commitment to professional development and improved teaching.

Along with three other award winners, Moser will receive a $500 cash award to be used toward the implementation of his individually designed professional development program titled “Sharpening the Saw”—named after a key point in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, written by motivational expert Steven R. Covey.

A firm believer in continuous improvement and professional growth “in order to be the most effective teacher you can be,” Moser has spent much of this summer in pursuit of that goal. He spent three weeks at Harvard University in July, taking two intensive classes (Groups and Symmetry and also Teaching Algebra, Trigonometry, and Geometry Using Vectors) as part of the preliminary requirement for the Harvard Extension School’s master’s program in math education. Before that, he attended a workshop and conference hosted by a local private school which, he explains, “was all about creating your own mathematics curriculum and leveraging technology to improve student learning.” And later this month, as his students begin their classes, Moser will begin one, too, (online, this time)!

“Jim is a talented and dedicated teacher who is thoroughly deserving of this award,” says Dean of Academics and Innovation Peter Dry. “He works hard daily to improve his craft and is always eager to learn and to share best practices. Furthermore, Jim is a character educator who ensures his students learn more than just math.”

In fact, Moser’s desire to work with young people and “in an environment where Christian Science is lived and loved” drew him toward teaching at the School. After graduating from Principia College with a BS in physics and math, Moser worked as a programmer for a textbook publishing company, a substitute teacher, and a well-logging engineer in the oil and gas industry. “Though that work was very engaging—and paid pretty well,” Moser says, “I didn't feel it was really what I was meant to do.”

In 2006, he joined Principia’s faculty, teaching sixth grade math and science before moving on to teach Upper School mathematics. Over the last couple of years, in addition to teaching Math Analysis and Algebraic Principles and Problem Solving, Moser has also served as an advisor and resource person for math teachers in the Lower and Middle School. “I love the quality of the students and colleagues I get to work with,” Moser says. “I also love the fact that I can practice my faith in a supportive environment.”