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Janet M. Pernell

Janet M. Pernell (IN '05)


At the time of the Award, Janet M. Pernell was:

Southport High School
Indianapolis, IN

Subject(s) taught: Mathematics
Grade(s): 9, 10, 11, 12

Biographical Information

To learn the concept of a slope, students in Janet Pernell's math class didn't just read about it in a book; they built a skateboard ramp. This is the kind of fun, relevant, project-oriented activity Ms. Pernell uses to make learning math enjoyable. Her lively curriculum, which often involves music, movement, games and peer coaching, has helped reduce the number of failing students and has increased the number of students excelling in math. Ms. Pernell is an innovative educator who is not afraid to try a new approach to solving a problem. Noting a high dropout rate among Hispanic students at Southport High, Ms. Pernell volunteered to develop a course in which students can learn algebra in their native language. In this course, an upper-level student translates Ms. Pernell's math lessons by doing exactly what she does on the board. Not one of the students enrolled in this class have dropped out of school.