Canyon Crest math educator named finalist for Presidential Award for Excellence

CCA math teacher Brian Shay with Principal Brett Killeen, San Dieguito Union School District board president Beth Hergesheimer and Superintendent Robert Haley.
(Glenn Jones)

Canyon Crest Academy math teacher Brian Shay was recently named one of six state finalists for the 2019 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching, the nation’s highest honor for teachers. Shay was recognized by the San Dieguito Union High School District board at its Nov. 7 meeting.

“He is one of the most accomplished math educators I’ve ever known and I’m proud to call him a teacher on our campus and in this district,” said Canyon Crest Academy Principal Brett Killeen.

Shay, who always has his trademark pencil behind his left ear, has been teaching for 18 years and was one of the founding staff members at Canyon Crest Academy. He started his career in the district at La Costa Canyon and is currently the mathematics department chair at CCA. He has taught courses ranging from algebra 1 and integrated mathematics to college-level advanced placement calculus and linear algebra.

Killeen said that Shay is not only a teacher of students but he is a teacher of teachers. Shay is a leader in math education at the local, state and national levels, organizing and speaking at conferences all over the country.

“It’s a joy working in this district, my heart is here,” Shay said. “It’s a great place to be, the kids are wonderful and it’s great to just create wonderful math-loving people who appreciate how to problem-solve, think and communicate.”