Keystone Oaks School District News Article

Keystone Oaks High School educator recognized as NMSI Teacher of the Month

Keystone Oaks High School Math & Computer Science Teacher Kevin Gallagher has been selected as the National Math & Science Initiative (NMSI) Teacher of the Month for October.

“Our Teacher of the Month initiative is intended to recognize and celebrate partner teachers who are engaging and inspiring their students in exceptional ways and working to spread the joys of learning beyond their classroom,” NMSI CEO Dr. Bernard Harris said in a release. 

Dr. Harris cited Kevin’s dedication to increasing Keystone Oaks’ enrollment in Advanced Placement (AP) classes, increasing students’ qualifying scores, and his enthusiasm for these college preparatory courses as some of the reasons that he was chosen for this distinction. In addition. Mr. Gallagher was instrumental in bringing the Laying the Foundation conference to Keystone Oaks this summer. 

“The work that Kevin has done over the past three years has had a tremendous impact on the quality of the educational opportunities provided to our students,” said Keystone Oaks Superintendent William P. Stropkaj, Ed.D. “Not only has Kevin worked to improve and grow our Advanced Placement program, but he has also been instrumental in bringing computer science courses to Keystone Oaks High School. We are proud of his commitment to our students and our District.” 

Mr. Gallagher serves as the site coordinator for the District’s participation in The National Math & Science Initiative, a three-year program that strives to advance STEM teaching and learning by increasing the number of students taking and earning qualifying scores on AP math, science, computer science, and English exams.NMSI provides study sessions for students as well as resources, supplies, and  professional development for teachers to help school districts reach this goal. 

Keystone Oaks has more than doubled the number of students taking AP English, Math and Science exams and has seen a 63 percent increase in the number of exams students are taking. Additionally, the number of students taking computer science courses has quadrupled over the past three school years. 

At the end of the 2019-2020 school year, Keystone Oaks estimates that students will have earned more than $500,000 in college credit and more than $40,000 in scholarships by earning qualifying scores on AP exams.

Students who enroll in AP English, Math & Science courses also have the opportunity to attend Saturday Study Sessions that help them prepare for the exam. This year, Keystone Oaks students will receive an additional 13 hours of instruction per course, or about 3,000 hours total for all students. When combined with the previous two school years, Keystone Oaks High School Students received an additional 6,000 hours of invaluable instruction and collaboration with students and instructors from throughout southwestern Pennsylvania.

Additional benefits of participating in the National Math & Science Initiative include:
  • $55,000 in classroom resources over the past three years
  • More than 100 hours of training for teachers between June 2019 and April 2020
  • NMSI’s Laying the Foundation program has provided Keystone Oaks teachers with more than 2,000 hours of professional development in a three year period

“When you look at the overall impact of Keystone Oaks’ participation in the National Math & Science Initiative, our students have received close to $1 million in tangible and intangible benefits, “ Mr. Gallagher said. “There is no doubt that our students are better prepared for post-secondary success because of their participation in rigorous Advanced Placement courses.” 

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