Ashland High School Pi Day events yield sweet dividends

Math Honors Society advisor Tammy Anderson, at left, and other faculty members share pie at the Pi Day celebration Monday, 3-14, at Ashland High School. Ashland.news photo by Holly Dillemuth
March 14, 2022

Math Honor Society’s slice of pie sale proceeds funds graphing calculator rentals

By Holly Dillemuth, Ashland.news

Ashland High Science teacher Todd Hobein set down a homemade German chocolate pie on a table set up on the school quad Monday to celebrate the sweetness of “Pi Day.” 

March 14 is celebrated by math fans because the date, when written numerically (3-14), is the same three digits as the beginning of pi, the name for the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter.

Todd’s wife and fellow teacher, Barbie Hobein, wasn’t far behind him, setting down her Peanut Butter silk pie next to Grasshopper, Marionberry, Pumpkin, and Coconut Creme pies. 

Barbie Hobein’s Peanut Butter Silk Pie is shared at the Pi Day celebration at Ashland High School. Ashland.news photo by Holly Dillemuth

The couple were among about a dozen teachers who gathered for a slice of pie, a chance to vote on the best one, and to chat with their colleagues. 

“He showed up with this amazing recipe. Oh my gosh, I’ve never seen him make a German chocolate pie before,” Barbie said, of her pie-baking, science teacher-husband.

“And he even looked up how to win a pie contest recipe,” she added, proudly.  “He’s extremely competitive.”

Since she was able to sneak a taste from the bowl, Barbie, who teaches Spanish at AHS, admitted his pie was “pretty darn good.” 

“He has a tendency to beat me out when it comes to baking,” Barbie said.

The pair love to bake for fun and are currently watching their ninth season of the British Baking Show. Asked if she’d like to test her pie-making skills on the show, Barbie said she didn’t think she could stand the pressure of being on a TV baking show, but both she and Todd seemed happy to share their confections with their colleagues.

Pre-Pi Day events raise  $250 for Math Honors Society

With a sample plate in one hand and a pi-shaped necklace around her neck, Tammy Anderson, shared the reason behind the event: It’s a fundraiser for the Math Honors Society (Mu Alpha Theta).

Anderson told Ashland.news that the pre-Pi Day celebration held for students on Friday raised $250 in sales for the graphing calculator rental program at the high school. Monday was not a school day for students (teachers were there for what’s known as an “in-service” day, when they work on lesson planning and teaching-skill development).

Math Honors Society advisor Tammy Anderson, at left, and other faculty members share pie at the Pi Day celebration Monday, 3-14, at Ashland High School. Ashland.news photo by Holly Dillemuth

“The students went to some of the local businesses and asked for donations,” Anderson said. Safeway, Fred Meyer in Medford, Shop’n Kart and Market of Choice donated pies for the events.

“They all gave very generously,” Anderson said.

Students sold slices of pie during lunch and the proceeds will go to help fund the school’s graphing calculator rental program.

“It’s usually for students who are juniors and seniors,” Anderson said, “kids use them in their math classes and in their science classes.”

The calculators are also available for rent during Scholastic Aptitude Tests (SATs).

Also on Friday, Anderson said they held a contest to see if any student or staff member could recite 20 digits of pi; if they did, they had their name entered into a drawing for a gift certificate to a local business.

“One student did 40 (digits) and we gave him a free slice of pie,” Anderson said, with a laugh.

Anderson said the school has held the event for many years.

“I guess it’s just kind of a nerdy math thing,” she said. 

“No matter how big your circle is, the ratio — you take circumference and divide by the diameter, you will get pi,” Anderson said.

The number is a constant value, though it’s what’s called “irrational,” as it goes on forever.

“The whole thing is just to have a fun event for the kids and to just raise a little awareness about our Math Honors Society,” she said.

Email Ashland.news reporter Holly Dillemuth at hollyd@ashland.news.

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Bert Etling

Bert Etling

Bert Etling is the executive editor of Ashland.news. Email him at betling@ashland.news.


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