Cooper Alum Applauds Former Teacher
College Math Major Adam Golightly Nominated Kim Larance For University Of Chicago Recognition
The University of Chicago has been asking its incoming students to help them identify and acknowledge outstanding high school educators for over 30 years. When Cooper alum Adam Golightly (’15) was given the opportunity to nominate a former teacher who influenced his academic and personal development, he selected Upper School Math Department Chair Kim Larance.
The congratulatory letter to Larance states, “We know that true learning is a collaborative experience which depends as much on the dedication of the teacheras it does on the motivation of the student. Thank you for your commitment to this endeavor.”
Larance, who teaches Advanced Pre-calculus and Advanced Placement Calculus BC, said, “I’m obviously honored and surprised to be recognized for something that I love to do.” She taught Golightly for two and a half years and says that given his current path as a math major, she feels like the award is coming from a future peer. “Adam enjoyed the theory behind the math,” she said. “He learned math rather than just how to do math.” According to Golightly, it was Larance who showed him the way.
In his letter of nomination, Golightly said that although math was always his passion, Larance’s class changed the way he saw the subject, and subsequently changed the way he views the world. After being pushed and challenged in her pre-calculus class to prepare him for calculus, he said, “I realized how special her tutorship could be when she taught proper calculus concepts. Suddenly I discovered that there was plenty of opportunity for creative license in math, that there was no longer a right and a wrong way. I could now solve highly complex problems in any number of ways, and what I enjoyed the most was that Mrs. Larance encouraged me to do so… With her help I began to see math and its potential in everything around me.”
An Applied Mathematics major at The University of Chicago, Golightly is taking honors physics and honors calculus, and says “I have no doubt that if it weren’t for Mrs. Larance, I would not have a chance at taking either of those!”