MƒA Muller Award for Professional Influence in Education


Winners of the 2019 MƒA Muller Award for Professional Influence in Education

Gary Rubinstein
MƒA Master Teacher in Math
Stuyvesant High School 

Lynn Shon
MƒA Master Teacher in Science
MS 88

Read our press release here >>

The MƒA Muller Award for Professional Influence in Education is awarded to two MƒA Master Teachers, one in mathematics and one in science, who have influenced the teaching profession in exceptional ways during their tenure as an MƒA Master Teacher.

The teaching profession needs accomplished teachers who are respected, recognized, and situated within communities where they can lead and learn alongside one another. At MƒA, we award fellowships based on these ideals. Our fellowships encourage accomplished mathematics and science teachers to continue teaching while building a deep professional network that supports their continued growth.

For teaching to be truly respected the voices of great teachers must be at the forefront of conversations about math and science education. Their voices must be included in public discourse about educational policies, reforms, and initiatives that impact the profession of math and science teaching, as well as within their own school communities. Great teachers who use their professional influence to engage, encourage, and support others in their profession are an inspiration, and they warrant recognition.

Award Information

The MƒA Muller Award for Professional Influence in Education recognizes two extraordinary teachers from within the MƒA Master Teacher community who influence their profession in multiple ways, which may include:

  • Advancing the broader math and/or science teaching profession with novel ideas, professional practice, and expertise
  • Advocating to elevate the teaching profession and inspiring others
  • Engaging in deep dialogue and research around current issues in math and/or science education
  • Making a commitment to peer-to-peer learning and leading
  • Demonstrating a dedication to the field of math and/or science education
  • Exhibiting leadership within and beyond the MƒA community

The award carries a $20,000 honorarium for the teacher and a $5,000 award for the school or organization of its nominator. This award is made possible by financial support from MƒA Board Member Peter Muller and his wife Jillian through their Dancing Tides Foundation.

Eligibility & Award Criteria

Current MƒA Master Teachers who are active in their second (or more) Master Teacher Fellowship are eligible to be nominated. The award recipient and nominator must be available on the evening of the award ceremony. 


We seek nominations from individuals who work in math and science education and who want to recognize extraordinary teachers who are making contributions to the field of STEM education. Nominations can be submitted by anyone in the following categories:

  • A principal, assistant principal, coach or non-MƒA teaching colleague
  • A district or central administrator
  • A mathematician or scientist or faculty in higher education
  • A professional engaged in STEM related issues in education

*MƒA Staff Members and current MƒA teachers are not eligible to serve as nominators, though current MƒA teachers may serve as references.

Award Criteria

Nominators are encouraged to consider the following ideas in their submission:

  • Nominee's contributions to the math and/or science teaching profession.
    How has this teacher worked to have a positive impact within their school community?
    In what ways does this teacher use their voice to drive change outside their own classroom?
  • Nominee's commitment to supporting and influencing other math and/or science teachers.
    How has this teacher demonstrated leadership in their own school and/or the broader math/science community?
    What are the leadership qualities that define and distinguish this candidate?
  • Nominee inspires other teachers to stay in the teaching profession.
    What distinguishes this teacher’s positive influence on others in the teaching profession?
  • Nominee’s work ethic has contributed to their success.
    How has this teacher embraced optimism, dedication and humility in their work?
  • Nominee’s professional achievements.
    How has the work of this teacher been publicly recognized?
    What professional contributions and efforts has this teacher made beyond their regular scope of work?

Nomination & Selection Process

Nominations will open in January for the 2020 MƒA Muller Award for Professional Influence in Education.

A complete Nomination consists of the following:

  1. The Nomination Form, which includes contact information and title of the nominator along with names and contact information for two references, at least one of whom must be from an entity different from the candidate’s school. (Current MƒA teachers may serve as references).
  2. A written description of how the teacher meets the criteria for this award (see Award Criteria). The description should not exceed three single-spaced, typed pages. The extent to which the description makes a succinct case for the teacher is more important than the letter’s length.
  3. No more than three documents that illustrate the nominee’s influence. This may include items authored by the nominee, materials produced under the nominee’s leadership, media articles about the nominee or their work, etc. Please keep each document to four pages or less in length.

Upon submission of a nominator’s materials (above), MƒA may contact the references during the selection process. 

Award Selection

A small group of finalists will be selected by an external screening committee and sent to the MƒA Board of Directors who will determine the two winners (one in math and one in science). Winning teachers and their nominator will be recognized at MƒA’s End of Year Celebration in June. 



What are the criteria for selection?
Current MƒA Master Teachers who are active in their second (or more) Master Teacher Fellowship are eligible to be nominated. Individuals will be selected based on evidence of influence and professional contribution to the teaching and education of Mathematics and Science, as well as support for other educators.

How do I find out which teachers are eligible?
The list of eligible teachers will be available once the nomination period opens. 

I was nominated last year - can I be nominated again?

I nominated a teacher last year - can I nominate the same teacher again and if so, do I need to re-submit my nomination information?
Yes, you can nominate the same teacher a second time. Unless otherwise instructed, you must re submit the nomination and update the material where necessary and desired.

I won the Muller Award last year - am I eligible to win again?
No, the Muller Award can be won only once for any teacher.

Why does the award put such an emphasis on influence?
MƒA fellowships recognize, reward, and celebrate excellent classroom teaching through the work of the broader MƒA community. This award is different in that it seeks to recognize how teachers are positively impacting the broader landscape of math and science teaching and their fellow educators.

Are the recipients required to do anything specific with their monetary awards?
The prize is unrestricted; recipients may spend as they choose.

Can I nominate myself?
No. Nominations must be made by individuals working in the field(s) of math and/or science education who wish to recognize the contributions of another math and/or science educator.

What if I have additional questions? 
Email us at mullerawardforinfluence@mathforamerica.org.