This is an exciting opportunity for me to serve as the Marketing Chair for NCSM. My own mathematics education values have been shaped by this organization's mission and vision and all the benefits available to me as a member. I have had the privilege of being on the NCSM board for the past three years and have been able to experience what it takes to move this organization forward so that our members are excited to be part of the organization and want to share that excitement with others. That is the way we grow our role as the premier mathematics leadership organization.
Communication and collaboration are two of the heartbeats of NCSM and provide the support to both our members and our organization. As the Marketing Chair, I will work hard to ensure that these heartbeats remain strong through communication venues that reach all members from a variety of media. This opportunity for shared leadership is important and helps us achieve the goals that we have for all students to have a deeper understanding of mathematics. The connections across the NCSM organization and membership are energizing and spark phenomenal professional growth. I look forward to being part of that energy.
I have been a mathematics educator since 1976 and have attended NCTM conferences since about 1985. As a high school teacher attending the teacher conference, I always wondered who those other people were who seemed to be at the same hotels as me, but at the end of a conference, and also seemed to be mathematics educators. I got my chance to find out who they were when I became a secondary mathematics supervisor in Baltimore County. My first NCSM conference was in 1996 and I have rarely missed one! (There was that one time I broke out in hives from head to toe and was in the emergency room the day before NCSM conference in Las Vegas!) The NCSM conference provides the opportunity for MY professional learning and growth and for the networking with colleagues in similar situations to my own. I have many "conference" friends now whom I see annually!
When I became director of Mathematics PreK-12 in Baltimore County in 2004, I made sure that all 15 of the mathematics educators in my office had the opportunity to attend the NCSM conference - this meant battling for funds by convincing my administration that this was such a worthwhile professional learning and provides the basis of strategic planning for mathematics in the district. My team always had dinner on the Sunday, the day before the conference opened, and established our priorities, sort of a "divide and conquer" so we could soak in as much as possible as a team. When we crossed paths throughout the conference, we excitedly shared what we had seen and what sparks of ideas people were creating to take back to our district to implement. That is what NCSM means to me: sparking ideas to take our own mathematics programs in our districts or in our roles to the next level for our students. The professional learning and networking has been a phenomenal resource for me over the years and provides a source of creativity for any path I pursue in mathematics education. I have been grateful for these conferences and the professional learnings I have gleaned.