Lincolnton resident and recent Western Carolina University graduate James Schrum has been named the Outstanding Mathematics Education Student for the western region of the state by the North Carolina Council of Teachers of Mathematics.
Schrum traveled to Greensboro last month to receive his award from the NCCTM.
After earning his high school diploma at West Lincoln High School in 2010, Schrum made his way west to attend Western Carolina University as a Teaching Fellow for a degree in mathematics education. When not in class, Schrum worked as a math and chemistry tutor for Western Carolina University’s Office of Student Support Services. Since graduating magna cum laude from Western Carolina University this spring, he has enrolled in the university’s master’s degree program in math.
Nory Prochaska, director of the math tutoring center, said Schrum is one of the most sought-after tutors by students. “He’s thorough, clear and creative in his approaches to helping students, but perhaps his most effective quality as a teacher is his quiet, encouraging and absolutely non-judgmental approach to students of all levels,” she said. “He has the makings of a great teacher.”
Now working as a graduate student, Schrum will be teaching a section of pre-calculus this spring semester and plans to earn his master’s degree in May. His future endeavors include earning a doctoral degree in math and teaching at the university level. While Schrum has found many share a common dislike of math, he considers it to be a “beautiful subject” that he has always loved.
In a press release, Schrum said “teaching is something I love doing. I love explaining things and seeing other people understand things.”
According to their website, the North Carolina Council of Teachers of Mathematics recognizes one college junior and one college senior from each of the western, central and eastern regions of the state. Recognition is determined through a student’s grade point average and their involvement in the NCCTM as well as campus and community activities.