Gehret Given to Erskine

Awards 2015

Nearing the end of each year since 1992, one or more Wilmington Friends Upper School students are chosen by the Mathematics Department to receive the Gehret Mathematics Award. The Gehret Math Award is granted in memory and honor of Amanda Spackman Gehret, ‘51. This award is a representation of a student who has demonstrated tremendous development of ability and commitment to the math experience as a whole. The department has determined the 2015 recipient of the Gehret Award to be senior, Jake Erskine!

Over the course of the last four years, Jake has been taught by Ildiko Miller, Head of the Math Department, and Steve Jennings. When asked about Jake, both of his teachers had numerous qualities to characterize him as a student. The most common trait used to describe Jake was an ‘outside of the box thinker’. “Jake has been totally engaged in the study of mathematics; he is an original thinker, his solution always has a little twist in it,” explained Mrs. Miller. Agreeing with her, Mr. Jennings said, “it is true that some students are attracted to mathematics for its precision, but not Jake. He is attracted to mathematics for its modeling. He enjoys the puzzle that mathematical modeling presents.”

Jake’s understanding of the study of mathematics still seems to amaze his teachers. “Jake does not do ‘cookie cutter’. I often found myself looking at his answers and asking myself ‘What? How?’. There was always something different, something unseen, and unheard of in his work,” recounted Mrs. Miller. Translating his understanding to the math classroom experience, Jake again had left his teachers in awe. Mrs. Miller commented, “his brain is always working; his thoughts are always steps ahead of the class. Correcting his tests always took me much longer than correcting his peers’ tests.” Jake’s comprehension of the subject was acknowledged once more when Mr. Jennings added, “he can blend in the nuances of algorithms while interpreting computational results in a search of a solution of a complex. Jake’s understanding is organic.”

Jake Erskine’s evident devotion and mathematical achievements during his time at Wilmington Friends Upper School have proven his well deserved earning of the Gehret Mathematics Award, and are destined to take him far. Congratulations Jake!