Math Olympiads for Elementary and Middle Schools

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In Memorium

Dr. Jerry Becker

MOEMS Board Member
Professor of Mathematics Education

Southern Illinois University Carbondale

Former Board Member of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics

Jerry Becker was a professor of mathematics education at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. He received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in mathematics from the University of Minnesota and the University of Notre Dame, respectively, and Ph.D. in mathematics education from Stanford University with Edward G. Begle, Professor and Director of the School Mathematics Study Group (SMSG). Dr. Becker has taught school mathematics at both the elementary and secondary levels. Jerry’s interests include teacher education, curriculum development, international mathematics education and cross-cultural research on problem solving.

Dr. Becker has been a member the Board of Directors of the Illinois Council of Teachers of Mathematics (ICTM) and the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM), President of the School Science and Mathematics Association (SSMA), a member of the U.S. National Commission on Mathematical Instruction (USNCMI) and the International Program Committee for the 9th International Congress on Mathematics Education. He has also been a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal for Research in Mathematics Education and the Mathematics Education Library [MEL] of Springer Academic Publishers.   Jerry Becker and Shigeru Shimada edited the translation to English of the Japanese book, The Open-Ended Approach – A New Proposal for Teaching Mathematics, published by the NCTM, which substantiates the effectiveness of open-ended problems as a method to evaluate higher-order-thinking skills, as well as its rich potential for improving teaching and learning.   During his summers, Jerry taught in the Department of Mathematics in the University of Chicago in a program for Chicago Public School teachers of mathematics.

Curt Boddie

MOEMS Board Member (1997 – 2008)

A graduate of Spring Hill College, Curt Boddie earned his master’s degree from Hofstra University. While he began his teaching carreer as a reading/English teacher in Chicago, Mr Boddie soon found his real home as a math teacher where he spent more than 30 years in the Manhasset public schools.


Curt Boddie had been active and had served as an officer of the Nassau County Interscholastic Mathematics League, the New York State Mathematics League, Mathematics Olympiads for Elementary/Middle Schools (MOEMS), and the Goudreau Museum of Mathematics in New Hyde Park, NY.

He had served as a problem reviewer for MOEMS for both Division E (1997 through 1999) and Division M (1999-2005) and had headed the committee designing MOEMS’s Math Tournament. He had been honored in 1993 as the High School Math Teacher of the Year by Nassau County Mathematics Teachers Association, in 2001 received the Educational Leadership Award from the Goudreau Museum of Mathematics, in 2002 received the National Teacher presented by RadioShack Corporation, and in 2003 was a finalist for the New York State Presidential Award for Excellence in Math Teaching. Mr Boddie had also been involved as a presenter for the Nassau County Math Teachers Association as, as a reader for Advanced Placement Calculus, as an instructor for the Gifted and Creative Problem-Solving Institute at SUNY Old Westbury, as a Committee Member in the NYS Teacher Certification Committee, and as an enrichment instructor at the Goudreau Museum of Mathematics.

Sandy Cohen

Original PICO
MOEMS Board Member (1999 – 2009)

Sandy Cohen received a Masters Degree from Brooklyn College. She was a retired elementary math teacher and the author of Figure It Out, a set of problem solving materials, published by Curriculum Associates. Sandy worked as a consultant and was a frequent speaker at local, regional and national math conferences. Sandy received awards for Educational Leadership from LIMACON and the Goudreau Math Museum.
Sandy’s association with the Math Olympiads organization went back to the very beginning, when the organization was known as LIMOES – Long Island Math Olympiads for Elementary Schools. Sandy considered herself fortunate to have been taught by the master himself, George Lenchner.

Sandy was an original PICO and coached many teams, including teams of primary students, until her retirement in 1990. She served on the Board of Directors of Nassau County Math Teachers Association (1985-87) and served as its president. Sandy was elected to the MOEMS Board in 1999.

Sandy’s philosophy had always been that children learn best when math concepts are presented in a problem solving context. Using Math Olympiad problems had been an important part of the way she taught her math classes, consulted in schools, and modeled lessons for teachers.

Margery Masters

MOEMS Board Member

Math Specialist, Sag Harbor Elementary School, New York

Margery Masters was a graduate of SUNY at Geneseo with a BS Degree in Early Childhood Education. She had an MS Degree in Education from LIU at Southampton. For the last 26 years Margery taught at Sag Harbor Elementary School, holding the position of Math Specialist for 22 of those years. In this capacity, she coordinated the curriculum as well as taught in classrooms. Problem solving is a major concern at Sag Harbor and the problems that MOEMS participants tackle are a part of the daily lives of their students.
In January 2003 Margery wrote a book to help 4th grade students review for the New York State Math Assessment. The title is Let’s Prepare for The 4th Grade Math Test and it is published by Barron’s. In 2006 Barron’s released Painless Math Junior, a book for students in grades 3, 4, and 5. In September 2008 Margery saw the publication of New York State Grade 3 Elementary Math Test which is a test preparation book as well. This book has been revised and will be re-released in 2011. Also in September of 2008, the first book for Grade 4 was released in a revised version. This book has revised again to reflect new changes in New York testing for Grade 4 and will be released in 2011.   As a member of AMTNYS, NCTM, and SCMTA, she was a regular presenter at state and local math conferences including LIMACON. As a member of AMTNYS, Ms Masters has chaired a number of committees and held a number of offices including Recording Secretary and Elementary Rep. In the fall of 2010, Margery was surprised with the Distinguished Service Award for her work with AMTNYS. Margery was also given an award by the Goudreau Math Museum for outstanding work as a math educator.
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