NEW MARTINSVILLE, W.Va. (WTRF) Craig Mason weaves real-life examples of how math works into every lesson.

The 37-year-old New Martinsville resident says he doesn’t use the textbooks much—just as a resource.
He wants his students to learn how it relates to real life.

Mason teaches math and algebra at Magnolia High School, and also college algebra and college statistics through a program of West Virginia Northern Community College.

“For instance, if we’re covering graphs or rates of change, I’ll pull out pediatric growth charts,” Mason said.

Mason holds masters degrees in both civil engineering and secondary education from WVU, and likes to relate math skills to potential occupations.

The ten finalists will gather at a banquet in Charleston September 7 where the winner will be announced.

The winner will receive a new car—leased for one year—and a number of grants for classroom resources.

Mason says if he wins, it will be a testament to his students.

“They’re the ones who are working to learn, and they’re the ones who are taking the SAT and ACT tests,” he said. “It’s because of them that these lessons are possible.”

Mason is a 2002 graduate of Magnolia High School.