Newton -Mary DeHart, a professor of mathematics at Sussex County Community College, was recognized by the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development during the SCCC's faculty and staff annual recognition awards ceremony. The award is given to educators at community colleges who continue to strive for teaching excellence. NISOD is the outreach organization to the Community College Leadership Program at the University of Texas at Austin. When Mary DeHart was just a kid, math was her worst subject. By high school, she despised the subject. It wasn't until she went back to college and took an astronomy class that her appreciation of math began. DeHart enjoyed her astronomy class and when she asked her instructor how she could learn more about astronomy, he told her she would have to learn calculus. Her interest was so deep that she decided to take the plunge and signed up for an algebra class. She soon saw that algebra was more than just math with numbers and letters; it was a language. Before she knew it, she was hooked. For the past ten years, DeHart has taught just about every course in mathematics SCCC offers. "When I teach the basic skills courses, I have to look at what each of my student's future plans are, so that I can really focus on what will prepare them for that," she said. Her colleague, Eleanor Carducci, a professor of English at SCCC, recommended Mary DeHart for the NISOD award. It was Anita Ulesky, SCCC Vice President of Academic Affairs, who officially nominated DeHart. "She is a very creative, excellent Math teacher," said Carducci. "Mary just has a way to explain Math so easily to her students."