Solomon Willis, Mathematics Instructor and Math and Foreign Language Department Chair at Cleveland Community College, was recently named the recipient of the Teacher of Honor Award from Kappa Delta Pi, International Honor Society in Education.
“I feel very blessed and completely humbled to receive the distinction of a Kappa Delta Pi Teacher of Honor,” said Willis. “For many years, I have enjoyed working with my students and helping them understand and appreciate the many uses of mathematics. I plan to continue teaching for many years to come and hope that I am always a positive influence in my classroom and among colleagues.”
Willis has been an instructor at CCC for more than 10 years. He has a master’s degree from Appalachian State University and a bachelor’s degree from Gardner-Webb University.
“He exemplifies what a quality instructor of higher education aspires to model at all times,” stated Betty Stack, dean of Arts and Sciences. “Mr. Willis works whether he is on the clock or not, and tirelessly reaches out to students in order to provide full opportunity toward success.”
One way he helps his students achieve success is by staying current with technology capabilities. Willis’ master’s program at Appalachian State University was centered on using technology in instruction, primarily with Texas Instruments graphing calculators. He is a frequent presenter at T.I. conferences and workshops, and he also has embraced online education, especially with Blackboard, MyMathLab, and Enhanced WebAssign.
For these efforts, Willis has received numerous awards, grants, and scholarships, including a Best Buy Te@ch technology grant, North Carolina Great Teachers Retreat Scholarship, and an Excellence in Teaching Award by the National Society of Leadership and Success. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from Gardner-Webb University and is a candidate for an Educational Specialist Degree in Mathematics Education from Nova Southeastern University.
“Mr. Willis spends a large amount of time adjusting curriculum needs to his students . . . through learning and sharing the best methods in laying a foundation for beginning Mathematics classes,” added Stack. “His online classes continually strive to engage students in learning while aspiring to create as strong a basis as in the traditional seated classroom.”
Professionally, Willis has been a member of several teaching and mathematics organizations, often holding leadership positions, including as board member of the North Carolina Council of Teachers of Mathematics, campus liaison for the North Carolina Community College Faculty Association, and advisor for the CCC chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. He also is a member of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.
Kappa Delta Pi established the Teacher of Honor award in 2008. To earn this designation, an educator must have more than 3 years of classroom teaching experience; demonstrate a commitment to integrity and high standards in the classroom; and submit evidence of professional development, leadership, community service, and exceptional contributions to the education profession. The award recognizes teachers of all levels, from early childhood instructors to university faculty members. To learn more about the designation, go to http://www.kdp.org/recognition/teacherofhonor.php.