For Immediate Release: July 17, 2014
From: International Association for STEM Leaders
International Association for STEM Leaders makes debut in the nation's capitol and awards Dr. Jeff Mathews, of Peachtree Ridge High School, the "Powering Up" STEM Leadership Award for his promotion and vision for technology in education. Dr. Jeff Mathews is part of our ongoing video documentary featuring national STEM leaders.
On April 24 and 25, Millwood Virginia-based, International Association for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Leaders successfully launched its inaugural leadership event at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. Nearly 100 STEM leaders from around the world joined IASL leadership. This invitation only annual STEM Leadership Summit recognized several attendees for their leadership in STEM education through a formal awards ceremony. The awards were presented to programs, schools, school districts and individuals who exemplify STEM Excellence as defined by criteria developed by IASL.
The "Powering Up" Technology Leadership Award was presented to Dr. Jeff Mathews, Principal at Peachtree Ridge High School. Mathews is a leading STEM thought leader who has been a strong understanding and mastery of technology and its full potential for classroom use. His philosophy is to enable children to power up their devices and provide digital access for all students. The devices promote formative feedback, digital information access, and communication with school partners and others.
The International Association for STEM Leaders is globally recognized for creating a "golden standard" for STEM excellence in traditional and non-traditional educational settings for all Pre-kindergarten through adult students. In collaboration with global STEM leaders, the IASL will provide guidance for implementing excellent STEM programming and develop a STEM framework that is industry-based and globally recognized. In the coming months, IASL will host regional events to continue its recognition of exceptional leadership, through awards and to focus its outreach activities around regional education and economic development issues.
The STEM Leadership Summit was help in conjunction with the world's largest STEM event, hosted by the USA Science and Engineering Festival. STEMconnector, the leading one-stop shop for STEM information participated as an initial sponsor and Edie Fraser, the founder, spoke to the IASL leaders and recognized them for their important work of impacting the lives of students every day through STEM leadership and education. Other partners include Diversified Education Systems (DES), a leader in "turn key" laboratories including: casework, equipment, curriculum, training and support. DES is further a collaborator with Root Cause and Pitsco Education, two additional partners of IASL. On the online side of STEM, Learning Blade and Career ATG offer career and STEM awareness, exposure and training to students. Finally, Concept Schools, a charter school management company and Vista Teach an early elementary robotics and engineering education company took part in the event as sponsors.
Dr. Jeff Mathews, current principal of Peachtree Ridge High School, recently served as the principal of The Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science, and Technology (GSMST) for six years. Dr. Mathews is instrumental in leading committed educators to advance STEM experiences on multiple platforms. The experiences elevate innovation, creativity, as well as nurture the talents of students through a unique, challenging and integrated curriculum. His experiences include working with advanced STEM studies and internships with business, industry, and university level leaders. GSMST was the first high school to receive STEM School Certification from the GA Department of Education and the STEM Education Award for GA high schools from the Technology Association of GA. The Washington Post and U.S. News and World Report both named GSMST as the #1 high school in GA and the U.S. News and World Report also ranked GSMST as the #3 public high school in the nation for 2013 and 2014. Dr. Mathews is additionally involved in the vertical alignment of a STEM experience for the Peachtree Ridge Cluster consisting of four elementary schools, two middle schools, and Peachtree Ridge HS.
Dr. Mathews received his undergraduate degree in biochemistry from Berry College where he also played baseball. He holds a M.Ed. in science education from the University of Georgia, a Ph.D. in teaching and learning from Georgia State University and National Board Certification granted by the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards. Dr. Mathews is a graduate of Gwinnett County Public School's Quality-Plus Leader Academy and he is a Leadership Gwinnett Alumnus. Dr. Mathews began his teaching career as a science teacher. He was also a head varsity softball coach and an assistant baseball and wrestling coach, accumulating four state championships. He has been a High School Teacher of the Year and a district finalist as well as an Air Force Association State Teacher of the Year. He and his wife, Cristy, have two children, Witt (12 yrs. old) & Madeline (10 yrs. old).