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National Math Council Honors Professor Emeritus of Bucks County Community College with Lifetime Achievement Award

Reston, Va., May 15, 2013—The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) recently named James M. Rubillo as a recipient of the Mathematics Education Trust (MET) Lifetime Achievement Award for Distinguished Service to Mathematics Education. This award honors those who over a career have contributed significantly to mathematics education through their leadership, teaching, and service at the national level. Since the award’s inception in 1994, MET has honored 45 individuals. The list reads like a “Who’s Who” in mathematics education.

Jim Rubillo has been an inspirational leader, communicator, and advocate for mathematics education for more than 45 years. He has made numerous contributions to the mathematics education community, with a special emphasis on technology and teaching mathematics at the community college and high school levels. He is a frequent speaker at professional meetings and has made presentations in all 50 states.

The capstone of his service to NCTM was his eight-year tenure as the Council’s executive director from 2001–2009.  In that role, he realized a vision for improving instruction with technology to reach more educators through such initiatives as Math in the Media and Math Matters. In addition, Rubillo connected NCTM with what has now become its Illuminations initiative—one of the Council’s most valued projects. He has served on the board of directors NCTM and the National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics. His service to NCTM includes membership on four annual meeting and ten regional conference program committees.

As NCTM executive director, Rubillo also oversaw the development and publication of NCTM’s Curriculum Focal Points for Prekindergarten through Grade 8: A Quest for Coherence. Always a leading force in increasing the Council’s presence and influence as an advocacy organization for mathematics teaching and learning, Rubillo framed high-level policy discussions about the need for greater coherence in mathematics curriculum.

A leader in the revolutionary “problem solving as a basic skill” movement, Rubillo participated in developing NCTM’s An Agenda for Action, released in 1980. This seminal publication, the first to focus on problem solving as a basic skill, changed the direction of mathematics education in the United States.

Rubillo had a rich career in math education before leading NCTM as executive director. He began his career as a mathematics teacher and department chair at Cheltenham Township Senior High School in Wyncote, Pennsylvania. For 30 years, he served Bucks County Community College in Newtown, Pennsylvania. Rubillo is currently professor emeritus at the college.

The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics is the public voice of mathematics education, providing vision, leadership, and professional development to support teachers in ensuring mathematics learning of the highest quality for all students. With 80,000 members and more than 200 Affiliates, NCTM is the world’s largest organization dedicated to improving mathematics education in prekindergarten through grade 12. The Council’s Principles and Standards for School Mathematics includes guidelines for excellence in mathematics education. Its Curriculum Focal Points for Prekindergarten through Grade 8 Mathematics: A Quest for Coherence, released in 2006, identifies the most important mathematical topics for each grade level. Focus in High School Mathematics: Reasoning and Sense Making advocates practical changes to the high school mathematics curriculum to refocus learning on reasoning and sense making. NCTM is dedicated to ongoing dialogue and constructive discussion with all stakeholders about what is best for our nation’s students.

Media contact: Tracy Withrow, Communications Manager,, (703) 620-9840, ext. 2189.


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