WMC Distinguished Mathematics Educator Award


2018 Recipient: Mary Richards

The Wisconsin Mathematics Council’s Distinguished Mathematics Educator (DME) Award is the most prestigious award that the Council bestows. The award recognizes individuals for their outstanding contributions and exceptional leadership and service to the Wisconsin mathematics education community.

Nominations for this award may include elementary, middle, secondary, or college teachers of mathematics, coordinators of mathematics, mathematics supervisors, and any other person who has made substantial contributions to the improvement of mathematics education.

Qualities of DME awardees include evidence of:

  • Active participation in professional organizations at the local, state and/or national levels
  • Lifetime contributions to mathematics education
  • Continued growth as a mathematics educator and leader
  • Inspirational influence on others in mathematics education

Congratulations to Mary Richards on being named WMC’s 2018 Distinguished Mathematics Educator (DME). The DME award is the most prestigious award that the Wisconsin Mathematics Council bestows. It recognizes individuals for their outstanding contributions and exceptional leadership and service to the Wisconsin mathematics education community. 

Not only has Mary been active on her school district committees but is someone we could count on at the state level while working on initiatives such as the revision of state standards, the assessment task force, math frameworks, developing, reviewing and range-finding for statewide assessments, Dynamic Learning Maps, and the WI Guiding Principles for Teaching and Learning Mathematics.  Among her outstanding recognitions, she has been the recipient of the Herb Kohl Outstanding Educator Award, the Hillshire Award for Excellence in Teaching, and the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching.

When Mary was asked for her resume, it included a comment that she has a passion for learning and teaching mathematics and believes that all students should have the opportunity and support necessary to learn significant mathematics with depth and understanding. Judy Singletary, Stoughton curriculum director, noted: “She is so wise, endearing and confident in her math passion that every educator who has had the privilege of working with her, trusts and is reinvigorated in a commitment to serve math students. I can always count on her for advice on interpreting data and guiding our leaders who then guide our educators.  In 38 years in education I’ve never met anyone else as proficient in her field AND as successful with adult learners.”.

And from Dr. Billie Sparks, WASDI project director, “From being my student my first-year teaching at UW-Eau Claire to my later WASDI projects and district consulting, she was always there. She was in education for the right reasons, always trying to make a difference in mathematics education and to make a difference in kids’ lives. She’s a true professional of whom I was always proud to have been able to work with through many years. I am proud that she is receiving this ultimate honor.”

Congratulations, Mary Richards, on being named the 2018 WI Mathematics Council’s Distinguished Mathematics Educator.

  Past DME Awardees
Left to Right


John Janty (1994), Sue Hanson-Otis (2011), Phil Makurat (1995), Jane Howell (1990), Jane Fazio (2010), Hank Kepner (1987), DeAnn Huinker (2008), Beth Schefelker (2014), Mary Richards (2018), Diane Kasbaum (2006), Gail Burrill (1996),  John Burrill (1987), and Billie Sparks (1994)


Past Distinguished Math Educators

 Recipient  Year

Sister Mary Petronia Van Straten

 1983

Sister Jositha Van Straten

 1983

J. Fred Weaver

 1983

LeRoy Dalton

 1984

Olive Danecki

 1984

George Henderson

1984

Ray Schmelter, Jr.

 1984

M. Vere De Vault

 1985

DuWayne Kleinschmidt

 1985

Ethel Niejahr

 1985

Gail Burrill

 1986

Patricia Huston

 1986

Courtney Leonard

 1986

Vincent O'Connor

 1986
John Burrill  1987

Adele Hanson

 1987

Henry Kepner

 1987

Walter Leffin

 1987

Marshall Wick

 1987

John Lucas

 1988

Elizabeth Fennema

 1989

Robert Patton

 1989

Tom Romberg

 1989
Harry Wollf  1989
 Recipient  Year

Donald Chambers

 1990

Jane Howell

 1990

Tom Carpenter

 1992

Robert Prielipp

 1992

Judy Fadness

1993

John Moyer

 1993

John G. Harvey

 1993

Billie Earl Sparks

 1994

John Janty

 1994

Sue Gehn

 1995

Jodean Grunow

 1995

Phil Makurat

 1995

Arne Engebretsen

 1996

Norm Webb

 1996

Ann Elling

 1997

Elizabeth Freeman

 1997

Milton Mitchell

 1997

Milton "Butch" Bretzel    

 1998

Pat Hopfensperger 

 1998

Marty Schuh

 1998

Jim Kasum

 1999

Mary Schroeder

 1999
 Pat Tyunaitis 1999
 Joan Grampps 2000

 Recipient Year

Faye Hilgart

 2000

James Marty

 2001

Steve Reinhart

 2001

Carolyn Meitler

 2002

Eric Schluter

2002 

Jo Ingle

 2003

Henry Kranendonk

 2003

Connie Laughlin

 2004

Janis Freckmann

 2006

Diana Kasbaum

 2006

Linda McQuillen

 2006

DeAnn Huinker

 2008

Patricia Madsen

 2008

Frederick (Rick) Tufte

 2008

Jane Fazio

 2010

Sue Hanson-Otis

 2011

Margaret Jensen

 2012

Richard Askey

 2013

Beth Schefelker

 2014

Michelle Parks   

 2015

Kevin McLeod

 2016
 David Ebert 2017
 Mary Richards 2018

© 2017 Wisconsin Mathematics Council, Inc.
wmc@wismath.org | 1-262-437-0174

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software