Charlene Tate Nichols Award

Pre-K - 8


Award Recipient

2023Merryl Polak
2019 Sue Dalka
Georgina Rivera


(Nominations by ATOMIC Members only)

The recipient must reflect the essence of Charlene, exhibiting outstanding commitment and successful service to students and the education community for grades Pre-K - 8.

Charlene began her career in education as a Chapter 1 mathematics tutor and long-term substitute while attending CCSU for her teaching certification.  She then taught Mathematics and served as the district-wide K-8 Mathematics Resource Teacher for the Consolidated School District of New Britain for over sixteen years. She and her seventh graders were featured in PBS Mathline demonstration videos that were funded by the Annenberg Foundation.  Additionally, Charlene supported the development of new teachers as an Alternate Route to Certification Middle School Mathematics methods instructor.  In 2004, she was hired as Mathematics Education Consultant by the Connecticut State Department of Education where she provided guidance and support for school district personnel implementing policy and complying with statutes. Her passion in the role of CSDE Mathematics Consultant was supporting educators.  Charlene also served on the Association of State Supervisors of Mathematics VP for Membership, the ATOMIC Board of Directors, and was Co-chair of the NCTM Regional Exposition.

Charlene was recognized as the 1996 New Britain Consolidated School District’s Teacher of the Year.  In 2009, she received the Mari Muri Award from ATOMIC and  was selected as the 2012 ATMNE Balomenos Lecturer. Most recently, Charlene was the first recipient of the Connecticut Council of Leaders of Mathematics Betsy Carter Memorial Award in 2017.

The Charlene Tate-Nichols Award Recipient should exemplify the following characteristics:

  • teach mathematics in grades Pre-K - 8.
  • work as a mentor to both students and teachers.
  • work to improve the mathematics community.
  • consistently help build numerical fluency, problem solving, creativity, reasoning, perseverance, and love for mathematics for the students in their classroom.
  • work collaboratively with other educators to improve mathematical skills and concepts for their own students as well as students in their building, district, or other organizations.

The recipient of this award will receive a $500 stipend to be spent for their classroom.

If you are an ATOMIC Member, you may NOMINATE a colleague.


This award will be presented at the
next ATOMIC Conference.


The ATOMIC Mission is to ensure that every Connecticut student receives world-class education in mathematics by providing vision, leadership and support to the K-16 mathematics community and by providing every teacher of mathematics the opportunity to grow professionally.

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