Superintendent Greg Baker and math teacher Scott Smartt.

Scott Smartt, math teacher at Bellingham High School, recently received the University of Chicago’s Outstanding Educator Award. Each year, the University of Chicago invites first-year students to nominate an educator who has influenced them or challenged them. The university receives hundreds of nominations each year from students who share stories about teachers who inspired them and taught them to think beyond the walls of the classroom in the pursuit of their own education.

Smartt has taught math at Bellingham High School for 19 years. Prior to Bellingham, he taught in Mount Baker School District for ten years. Smartt was nominated by Bellingham graduate and former math team captain Karol Mukhamediyeva. Smartt learned of the award when he received a letter from the University of Chicago that included Mukhamediyeva’s nomination.

Smartt said his favorite part about teaching is when he asks a student just the right question, so they make connections between what they know and what they need to know. He also shared this advice for new math teachers, “Don’t be a math teller. Be a math asker. Put the students in situations where they need to think their way out of a situation.”

Please join us in congratulating Scott!



  1. The Socratic method at it’s best. When you ask a student about Mr. Smartt, they have nothing to say but love and admiration. He really cares about education and people.

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