Position: Seventh and Eighth Grade Math Teacher School: Sequoia Middle School
School District: Redding School District
City, State: Redding, California
About the Nominee: Ken Lengel was nominated by his principal, Cindy Bishop.
“I certainly do care about measuring educational results. But what is an 'educational result?' The twinkling eyes of my students, together with their heartfelt and beautifully expressed mathematical arguments are all the results I need.” - Keith Devlin
Ken Lengel embodies the above quote. Mr. Lengel came to education from the field of nuclear engineering twenty years ago. He felt a calling to make a difference for tomorrow through inspiring and educating students on the wonders of math and all its uses. He has clearly made a difference; the evidence can be found not only in his students' achievement scores, but in the relationships he has with staff, families and students.
Mr. Lengel is dedicated to the personal growth of students and their ability to reach their mathematical potential. He exemplifies this by offering 14 study halls a week and making himself available every day before and after school, as well as during his lunch period. He also spends each Sunday in his classroom calling the parents of all students who perform with a “C” or lower for the week. Mr. Lengel teaches students about the importance of the “process” of math. He encourages students to show their work and allows test retakes because he is most concerned with the learning, not how a student performs the first time on a test.
Mr. Lengel is a Sequoia Spartan favorite. He participates in all school rallies that include staff vs. student sporting events, wearing his standard uniform of pants and a t-shirt that reads, “Before you laugh, do the math, born in 1946.” The student body goes wild when watching Mr. Lengel play full court basketball!
Additionally, Mr. Lengel is a leader in the Sequoia Middle School math department. He, along with his colleagues, developed a common scope and sequence for math in grades 6-8 for the Redding School District. He was also instrumental in the creation of common benchmark assessments that occur every three weeks. Through this formative data, the math department can now gauge individual student growth and collaborate in regard to what will make the largest positive impact on student growth.
Mr. Lengel has a strong work ethic, which he models to his students. He has not missed a single day of work! He is one of the first to arrive on campus and one of the last to leave. Mr. Lengel believes in all of his students and their potential in math. In his class, he has posted various jobs that include math and the annual earnings of each career. He ties the learning of today into the future of tomorrow. He teaches kids that math is not impossible, but through perseverance and hard-work all things are possible. Mr. Lengel is a LifeChanger in the lives of Sequoia Middle School students!