Mathematics Department Head Dr. Chris Talone won the Anne-Marie Jenks Excellence in Teaching Award on Monday, Jan. 22. The award was created in 2012-13 to honor former foreign languages instructor Madame Anne-Marie Jenks’ retirement. Each year, teachers are eligible to apply for the $5,000 grant that they can put towards a professionally enriching experience.
After submitting a seven-page application, Talone was selected by the School as the recipient of the award. Talone will be using the grant to travel to Japan with Theme Park Review, one of the largest roller coaster clubs in the United States. Following his trip, Talone will create a presentation to share with the faculty.
Talone has already traveled to the United Kingdom, Germany, Sweden, France and Italy with Theme Park Review. He said that a trip to Japan would not only expand his knowledge of rollercoasters, but also introduce him to a new culture.
“[Japan] is an area of the world I have never been to, so all the theme parks and roller coasters there will be new to me. Besides experiencing the thrill of new coasters and theme parks, I will get to experience Japanese culture, a whole new world for me. Because the theme parks are usually in remote areas, [the trip] will take me to places tourists would not normally visit,” Talone said.
Aside from cultural enrichment, Talone plans to implement his experiences in Japan in the classroom. He explained the relevance of roller coasters when learning everything from acceleration to linear regression.
“Just about every week in my classes, the topic of roller coasters comes up and I am able to apply what we are talking about to a coaster I’ve ridden. The fact that I’ve actually been there and ridden these coasters captures the attention of the students even more,” Talone said.
Talone said his interest in roller coasters began at a young age. So far, Talone said he has ridden 679 different roller coasters, ranking him 267th in the world for most roller coasters ridden.
Talone said that he is excited to combine his passion for roller coasters with teaching, all while experiencing a new country.
“My visit to Japan with Theme Park Review will bring energy, excitement and personal experience to the classroom. [The trip] will renew my spirit, energize my psyche and give me an unforgettable experience of Japanese culture, theme parks and roller coasters that I can use in the classroom,” Talone said.