• Teacher: Vince Lavergne
  • Subject: Math
  • School: Shawnee Mission South
  • Awarded: February 2011

Teacher Bio - If you have ever heard of the Calculus B/C exam, you know that just the thought of taking the exam is daunting. Shawnee Mission South calculus instructor Vince LaVergne not only takes fear out of the equation, he makes the experience so enjoyable that students not required to take the exam sign up anyway just to be a part of his class.

To his students, LaVergne isn't just an educator. He is a coach and a friend. LaVergne goes above and beyond in his efforts to prepare and support his students for the Calculus B/C exam. To LaVergne, his students are his "team." As a final preparatory step during the week of the exam, he invites his students to his house for a team dinner. Additionally, as a way to support and encourage his students to pursue excellence, LaVergne has a banner that hangs in his classroom with the names of all students who have scored a 5 on the exam, much the same as a banner that might hang in a gymnasium recognizing championship athletic teams.

And speaking of success, no "team" in the state of Kansas has registered the Calculus B/C exam results as well as LaVergne's Shawnee Mission South students. In his first two years of teaching at Shawnee Mission South, 75 percent of his students scored a 5 on the exam. This past year, 64 percent of the team scored a 5. In 2010 the mean grade on the exam for the entire state of Kansas was 3.6 and only 38 percent of the students taking the exam scored a 5. LaVergne's excellence as an educator shines through in his students' results.