Patuxent High School
It doesn't take an advanced math student to calculate the tremendous gains Alexander Jaffurs has generated at Patuxent High School. Since taking charge of the school's Advanced Placement calculus program, Mr. Jaffurs has helped boost student scores on the AP test from 67 percent to 93 percent. Last year, 89 of the 95 students who took the AP Calculus I or II exams scored 3 or better. Enrollment in the school's AP calculus program has increased as well, from 23 students the year before Mr. Jaffurs joined the school to over 100 last year.
Always looking for new and interesting ways to present his subject matter, Mr. Jaffurs organizes an annual summer institute for eighth graders, designed to pique interest in advanced coursework through engaging hands-on activities. He has also developed innovative testing strategies; his students often take a "group test" in clusters of three, after which they go over their answers with Mr. Jaffurs; individual tests follow the group tests, with both counting toward the final grade. As both math department chair and the school's math AP consultant teacher, Mr. Jaffurs promotes staff development, encourages teachers to share successful strategies and provides extra instruction and encouragement for struggling ninth graders. In multiple ways, this National Board Certified educator has been an integral force in his students' academic success.