Rev. Stanley J. Bezuszka, S.J. Achievement Award for Mathematics Teaching and Learning

A Tribute to Rev. Stanley J. Bezuszka, S.J. by Dr. Margaret (Peg) Kenney.

This is an award to honor the commitment and excellence of teachers of mathematics in levels PreK – 16. The nominee should be an outstanding teacher of mathematics or mathematics education both in the classroom and in the ATMIM community of members.
  • 15 years of teaching mathematics PreK - 16
  • demonstrated excellence in stimulating students in their mathematics learning
  • history of presentations at ATMIM events
  • current ATMIM Board Members are ineligible
Download the criteria and procedure for nominating individuals for the Rev. Stanley J. Bezuszka, Achievement Award.


Award Recipients


2020: Alison Mello

Adapted from letters written by Amy Perdos and Nicki Newton:

At the time of this award, Alison Mello was the Assistant Superintendent in the Foxborough Public Schools after having served as K-8 Director for Math and Science in the school district. Alison has dedicated herself to the teaching and learning of mathematics. Alison’s math work inspires others to do better and know more. Dr. Mello’s dedication, passion and pursuit of change in how mathematics instruction is delivered for ALL students cannot be understated. Teachers not only see her as an outstanding teacher and leader in the area of mathematics, but as an exceptional educator as well. She is a true teacher of teachers.


Her scholarship is profound. She knows the research and how to make it applicable to the modern student, teacher, administrator and school. One of Alison’s co-authors for the book Fluency Doesn’t Just Happen writes, “Dr. Mello was able to weave the research into the discussion in a way that fit, was relevant and was useful.” Dr. Mello actively brings her knowledge base to the math community on a local, regional and national level. Her phenomenal presentations help engage educators in the ongoing pursuit of knowledge and a love of mathematics.

2019: Mike Flynn

At the time of this award, Mike Flynn was the Director of the Mathematics Leadership Programs at Mount Holyoke College. His colleague Sarah Bent writes:

Mike is an extremely passionate, dedicated, and talented educator. Committed to both his own learning and the learning of his students, Mike has high expectations for himself and seeks out opportunities to grow by continually reading the latest books and research in the field, attending conferences, collaborating with colleagues, and staying connected to preK-8 classrooms. 

Whether he is facilitating learning in person, online, or in a space with both online and in-person

participants, Mike creates a vibrant environment where students feel comfortable taking risks and exploring new ideas. He has a dynamic, engaging facilitation style and uses humor to connect others and build strong learning communities. Mike works intentionally to cultivate inclusive, safe spaces and reflects routinely on the ways in which he can better support his students.

2018: Joan Martin

(coming soon)

2017: Jane Lynch

Jane is a Math Coach in the Cambridge Public Schools and an adjunct professor of mathematics education at Lesley University. She has co-written books in the series Math For All: Differentiating Instruction and How to Differentiate Your Math Instruction.


Her colleague Eileen Gagnon writes:


Time and time again, teachers and coaches will talk about how knowledgeable and inspirational she is, whether it is through her coaching, facilitating professional development, or teaching a class. She always leaves them wanting more! She is data driven and focuses on the facts when unpacking the story behind the data. The teachers see Jayne as an expert in the field and welcome opportunities to problem solve along side her.


Linda Dacey, another colleague writes:


I think Father Bezuszka would like someone such as Jayne to receive an award created in his honor. Like him, Jayne unfailingly supports and mentors those around her, has a natural curiosity that leads her to pose interesting mathematical questions about her surroundings, and has a deep faith that allows her to always see the best in others and want the best for both her students and her colleagues.

Jane Lynch with Steve Yurek

2016: Lisa Mikus

2014: Dr. Anne Collins and Ellen Metzger

Dr. Anne Collins, Lesley University

Excerpts from the Nomination letter written by Judith Zaino, retired Principal, Haverhill, MA

Anne’s greatest gift is the inspiration for mathematics that she has instilled in countless numbers of educators in the state of Massachusetts. She knows how to teach math and to teach educators the skills and concepts that they need to teach our students. Anne empowers those around her to think about math in different ways and her real world approach helps make concepts understandable. At the same time, Anne provides activities that engage educators and their students, and actually make math fun. 

Anne Collins has been awarded too many grants to mention. Her grants have allowed educators to receive training at a reduced cost. She plans workshop and courses on a schedule and in places that make them appealing to teachers. Anne is a member of the Massachusetts Math Educators Hall of Fame and was a state finalist for the Presidential Award of Excellence. She received the ETA/CUISENAIRE Distinguished Service Award given to one national leader a year to recognize on-going commitment to mathematics teaching and learning. 

Anne has made numerous presentations, at local, state and national workshops and conventions. She has a long list of publications and professional activities too numerous to mention. Anne holds professional memberships in just about every council of teachers of mathematics, from Massachusetts, to Maine, to New England, and the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. 

This is a fitting award to recognize Anne’s commitment to mathematics and her contribution to the community.

Ellen Metzger, Lincoln Public Schools

Ellen has been an exemplary classroom teacher at The Learning Center for the Deaf in Framingham, MA, before focusing her energy in 1998 into mathematics education exclusively, and then moving to the Lincoln school system in 2008. 

Ellen’s dedication to the teaching of mathematics to school age students is stellar. She hasprovided useful and thought-provoking workshops for teachers, administrators, and othermath educators for the Association of Teachers of Mathematics in Massachusetts (ATMIM),Boston Area Mathematics Specialists (BAMS), and the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM). She offers alternative approaches to instill enthusiasm for mathematics, and speaks with authority on teaching children mathematics without being condescending. Her unassuming nature is refreshing. 

Ellen has served on the ATMIM board and willingly took on any responsibility to further the works of the organization. Ellen always completed her tasks, such as scholarship chair, competently and efficiently. Being a team player, Ellen would work often behind the scenes at an ATMIM event and then present a well-planned workshop. Ellen is a humble individual, who cares deeply for her students and for the teachers with whom she works so closely to improve their practice of teaching mathematics. Ellen embodies the essence of the math educator that Fr. B was.

Father B Award Picture 2014

From Left to Right:

Dr. Anne Collins (Father B Award), Lesley University

Ellen Metzger (Father B Award), Lincoln Public Schools

Steven Rattendi (ATMIM President)

Donald Cameron (ATMIM President-Elect)

2011: Rhonda Girouard

Bezuzska 2011

From left to right
Steve Yurek (President Elect)
Rhonda Girouard (Fr. B. Award) Assabet Valley Regional Technical High School
Neelia Jackson (President)

2010: Filberto Santiago-Lizardi

Our recipient is a life-long learner.  He is often seen participating in summer workshops to further develop his own mathematics content knowledge as well as searching for appropriate problems and activities that he can bring back to his students.  He has presented at ATMIM conferences sharing some of his more engaging lessons while sharing his students’ work.  A very humble man, he is a person who downplays his own teaching excellence as he focuses not on himself, but on his students.  He speaks fondly of the many workshops and classes in which he participated at Boston College, taking opportunities to study with and learn from Fr. Bezuszka, S.J.

A long-term teacher at the Timilty Middle School in Boston, the essence of the Fr. Bezuszka, S.J. Achievement Award For Excellence in Teaching and Learning Mathematic is embodied in Filiberto Santiago-Lizardi.

From left to right: Neelia Jackson (ATMIM Past President)
Filberto Santiago-Lizardi (Fr. B. Award)

Peg Kenney

2009: Dr. Margaret (Peg) Kenney

At the March 2009 ATMIM Conference, Dr. Margaret (Peg) Kenney, Boston College Mathematics Institute, was recognized as the first recipient of the Rev. Stanley J. Bezuszka, S.J. Achievement Award for Mathematics Teaching and Learning. “Fr. B” was an icon in the mathematics community. Active to the very end, he was an annual speaker at ATMIM conferences. He passed away December 27, 2008, just shy of his 95th birthday. He had a major impact on the teaching and learning of mathematics. He was a wonderful mentor. To honor Fr. B’s commitment to mathematics ATMIM has instituted an annual achievement award in his name. 

Dr. Kenney was a friend, employee, and co-author of Fr. B’s for over 50 years. Like Fr. B. she has dedicated herself to the improvement of teaching and learning mathematics. It is fitting that she is the first recipient of the award. Peg has been a mentor to hundreds of math educators. She is visible at every math conference, served as ATMIM president and as an NCTM Board member, among a long list of credits. Peg’s presentations invariably offer a fresh look at a math concept.. Peg is innovative in bringing geometric representations to arithmetic patterns, an approach that often allows visual learners to make sense of traditionally numeric concepts. Both Peg and Fr. B have published or co-published numerous books and articles promoting ways to think about mathematics.


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