The Washington Post is recognizing George Mason High School mathematics and finance teacher Joel Block as this year’s Agnes Meyer Outstanding Teacher Award recipient from Falls Church City Public Schools. A 19-year veteran teacher, Block is known for his dedication to helping students master challenging mathematical concepts.
The annual award is presented by the Post to one teacher from each of the 19 metro area public school divisions and one private school. The award’s namesake, Agnes Meyer, was a staunch supporter and defender of education and the wife of Eugene Meyer, who purchased the Post in 1933. The goals of the award are to recognize excellence in teaching and to encourage creative and quality instruction.
“Joel Block is a teacher our students will always remember and appreciate,” FCCPS Superintendent Toni Jones said. “We are so happy to celebrate this award with him. Joel is a consummate professional; a leader in the classroom, the school and the community.”
Block is mathematics and personal finance teacher. His goal is to make math fun and accessible to all students by creating a nurturing environment where students are able to take academic risks and succeed. His tenure with FCCPS began in August 2002. Previously he taught at HB Woodlawn High School in Arlington County and Oakton High School in Fairfax County.
Block was nominated by the Future Educators of America, a student club. Students, parents and colleagues submitted letters of support for his nomination. FEA Club members wrote, “Mr. Block goes out of his way to make students feel welcome… he is always genuinely enthusiastic about getting students interested in the material.”
Colleague Janet Weber praised Block for his commitment. “Mr. Block is dedicated to helping every student be successful in challenging math classes.” Block also serves as a teacher trainer, assisting fellow math teachers as a mentor and leader.
In addition to his classroom role, Block was a founding sponsor of the “Be The Change Club” that promotes caring and respect to build a strong school community. He sponsors the Gay-Straight Alliance.
Block earned his bachelor’s degree in accounting and a master’s degree in education from George Washington University in Washington DC. He is a previous recipient of numerous awards, including the Virginia Lottery Super Teacher Award (2009), Lands End Teachers Light the Way Award (2008) and the Bridging the Gap Award (2008) from Fairfax Partnership for Youth for the Be The Change Club.