Classroom Volunteer Places Among First In Math National Top Ten

Classroom Volunteer Places Among
First In Math National Top Ten

ALAMOGORDO, NM—Yucca Elementary School’s William “Mr. Bill” Hanna finished second in the nation among all educator-players in the 2017 First In Math Top Ten competition. What makes this truly unique, however, is that Hanna is not your typical educator.

William "Mr. Bill" Hanna
William "Mr. Bill" Hanna

Hanna has volunteered at Yucca Elementary School since February, 2016, contributing more than 600 volunteer hours during the 2016-2017 school year alone. He enjoys helping the school’s 329 participating students navigate the First In Math program and Yucca’s First in Math Club.

The retired Air Force veteran encourages students by providing extra incentives, like pizza parties, to supplement the built-in positive reinforcement the First In Math site provides. “I know how some students feel when playing games with timers and that kind of thing—because I have some information-processing issues myself,” admits Hanna. “From what I’ve seen, this is a valuable, low-stress math-practice tool that can help build confidence in all types of learners.”

Last year, “Mr.Bill” met First In Math VP Barbara Asteak when she volunteered to help out with their 24 Challenge math tournament. “I recall telling her that I had a lot of enthusiasm for First In Math, as did my studnets,” he says. “This year I decided to put my words to the test. I hope my students are proud of my success—I know I am proud of theirs.”

Yucca Elementary ended the National Top Ten competition as the #1 First In Math school in the Alamogordo Public School District, and ranked third overall in New Mexico. In April, the school passed the one-million-sticker milestone.

Related: Top Educator Players - see the Lola J. May Award winner and Silver / Bronze medal winners for 2017


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