CEDAR HILL HIGH SCHOOL MATHEMATICS TEACHER IMPACTS ADVANCED PLACEMENT, HONORS STUDENTS
When Cedar Hill High School scholars study under the Mathematics tutelage of Jonathan Arrington, there are two words that often come to mind – challenging and fun. “Math has always been a favorite subject of mine, so to see someone so passionate and knowledgeable…is inspiring,” Cedar Hill senior Pierre Ingram said. “Mr. Arrington found a way to make math funny. His teaching style and dry humor consumed the room.”
These days, Arrington – like all of his colleagues – is instructing scholars remotely, but his impact on their coursework remains the same. He has taught Mathematics at various levels for 20 years in the Metroplex, including the last decade at Cedar Hill High School. He currently teaches Advanced Placement Calculus and Honors Pre-Calculus at Cedar Hill High School. “For me, the more advanced a class is, the more interesting it is to teach,” Arrington said. “The more advanced a course, the closer scholars are to seeing the applications of it.”
The Cedar Hill Education Foundation (CHEF) hosts an annual event called Night of Shining Stars with the top scholars from Cedar Hill High School (CHHS) and Collegiate High School, respectively. These scholars are asked to nominate a Star Educator – the teacher who has made the largest impact on their lives. Three CHHS seniors, including Class of 2020 Valedictorian Xandria Johnson, chose Arrington as their Star Educator. He was the only Educator to have been named Star Educator by multiple scholars. “Anytime you can be acknowledged by your scholars is special,” Arrington said. “I appreciate being appreciated.”
Arrington grew up in San Diego, California and enrolled at Paul Quinn College in Dallas. He chose Electrical Engineering as a major, on the recommendation of a school counselor. After tutoring classmates in Mathematics, he knew at that moment it would be his career path. “I fell in love with the joy of explaining math concepts to people,” said Arrington, who earned a degree in Secondary Education/Mathematics from Paul Quinn College. “It’s a subject I love. Think about something you love and just imagine having a job where you talk about a hobby that you love.”
Johnson credits Arrington with helping her go from a score of “3” on the mock AP Exam to “4” on the actual AP Exam. Earning that score meant that she earned college credit for the course.
Arrington prides himself on challenging his students to have the confidence that they can attempt and succeed at solving difficult math problems. “Math always came natural to me,” CHHS senior Ethan Magdaleno said. “But AP Calculus definitely presented its challenges for me. No matter how many questions I asked, he never got frustrated with me. He simply guided me to the answer and told me that studying is the only way to get better. He knows that his students can accomplish great things in life, and I am grateful for his constant motivation and faith in me.”