Math Teacher Tom Goebeler Wins 2020 Yale Educator Award
Math Teacher Tom Goebeler Wins 2020 Yale Educator Award

The deep connections with teachers is what resonates with many alumni as they look back at their years as an EA student.

For recent graduate, Neera Raychaudhuri '20, Upper School math teacher Dr. Tom Goebeler is one of those special teachers. Over the years, he served as Neera's advisor and taught her six upper level math classes- including two over the summer after she had already completed her senior year.

"Dr. Goebeler is the only teacher crazy enough to balance on step stools to reach the top of his blackboard and offer any math course to high schoolers upon request," explained Neera. "His passion for teaching and inspiring students is only matched by his obsession with Hagoromo chalk. Goebs, as we affectionately call him, is both demanding and dedicated."

Dr. Goebeler is a recipient of the 2020 Yale Educator Award after Neera nominated him upon her admission to Yale University.

"Neera was an active member of Math Club, plus its president for two years. She knows me and I know her," said Dr. Goebeler. "Here she is, heading off to a new, formative, exciting stage of her future life, and she takes the trouble to write on behalf of someone from her past. I know this is the sort of person she is, but I also think that says something remarkable about her. I was very touched that she did that."

"At EA, many students finish BC Calculus before their senior year," shared Neera. "Goebs takes it upon himself every year to create electives for these students to encourage them to pursue even higher-level mathematics. He is dedicated enough to spend every summer designing these courses as long as there are at least three kids interested, including the unconventional Non-Euclidean Geometry online course I requested this year post-graduation."

"This award recognizes educators from around the world who inspire and support their students to perform at high levels and to achieve excellence," reads the award letter from the Yale Office of Undergraduate of Admissions.

"Mentoring and inspiring students isn't just important to me, it is the essence of teaching. I want students to see that intellectual pursuits are quintessentially human, and that mathematics in particular is the product of human thought and creativity," shared Dr. Goebeler. "Feeling the connection to our intellectual heritage and being shown distant vistas for further exploration should be a part of mathematical education."

Dr. Goebeler is among 58 teachers to win the prestigious award this year. Three hundred seventeen educators were nominated.

"Tom has had a longstanding relationship and impact on many of our young alumni," shared Math Department Chair Kelly Edwards, Hon. "Quite a few came back this summer to take one of his online courses. To me, that is a clear indication of his influence and a testimony to the respect our alumni have for him and his teaching."

"He stays up until ungodly hours in the night after every assignment or test because he insists on getting us feedback the very next day," said Neera. "As an advisor, he has also been one of the most supportive mentors I could have ever asked for. Despite his stoic, no-nonsense personality, Goebs won't hesitate to let you cry on his shoulder after a particularly stressful week, or provide meaningful advice on how to navigate difficult situations. Dr. Goebeler is one of the main reasons I enjoyed my EA experience so much, and I am thrilled that Yale recognized his passion and efforts. Goebs is more than just a math teacher: he is a mentor, friend, and ally who gives his students more than what they ever thought they could even ask for."

"I was so surprised. I didn't know there was such an award. I feel so honored," said Dr. Goebeler.

Neera Raychaudhuri '20 pictured with Math Club teammate Jacob Viscusi '19