Denise Trakas

Denise Trakas

K-5 Mathematics Program Coordinator, Teacher and Consultant

380 Edison Way
Reno, NV 89502

(775) 750-4413



News from the Western 1 Region
Denise Trakas, Western 1 Regional Director
Summer 2019

Western Region 1 members- It was wonderful meeting several of you at the the NCSM Annual Meeting and regional caucus in San Diego. Those of you who were unable to attend will receive updates from your Regional Team Leaders in August/September with information on professional learning opportunities in our region. NCSM launched two new books as part of the NCSM Essential Actions series ...

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Building and supporting mathematics leaders at all levels of the education system is a passion of mine and I am excited to be part of the organization that is leading this charge!

I am currently a Teacher on Special Assignment (TOSA) coordinating the mathematics program for 31,000 Kindergarten through 5h grade students in a K-12 school district in Nevada. I am passionate about developing deep mathematical understanding and building strong communities of learners for all. Through this work, I strive to have individuals build a relationship with mathematics, whether it be toddlers forming initial ideas around number concepts and spatial structuring; elementary students grappling with the most efficient strategy based on the numbers or context of a problem; or even adult learners who are just beginning to connect and understand big mathematical ideas. This is the foundation of all I do. I used to think about the future in terms of what I wanted to be or what I want to do; now I just ask myself what types of problems I want to solve. Ensuring that young children, students and adults have the opportunity to engage in high quality mathematical situations that build understanding and mathematical habits of mind is critical. Everyone should have the opportunity to solve the types of problems they choose, I want to be a part of making that happen.

I joined NCSM in 2006 after being invited to attend the 2007 conference with several district mathematics leaders. I was a novice in the mathematics teacher leader field and unsure of what to expect. During the conference I found that the attendees were thoughtful and reflective. They engaged with me in conversations and didn't treat me as if I was a novice; but instead listened intently to what I had to share. I remember having conversations with individuals who I later sat in on their sessions. Some of these individuals had names that I had recognized from reading research and journals. I was touched that these highly respected mathematics leaders would engage with me, a teacher, and value my contributions to the field. I left the conference feeling as if I was now a member of something greater. I also left with tools I could use in the classroom, with other teachers, families and in my mathematics work with our local NCTM affiliate.

Since then, I have increased my involvement in NCSM by serving as a State Team Leader for Nevada. I have also served on program committees, as a presenter and volunteer at the conferences, and even briefly on the elections committee.

I embrace the values of the organization and look forward to welcoming new members while I continue to work with the reflective practitioners who form this wonderful community of practice we call NCSM.

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Events Calendar for Western US 1
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Region: Western US 1

Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming

Western Region 1 Team Leaders:

Alaska: Samantha Wuttig

Arizona: Kimberly Rimbey

Colorado: Kelly Shank

Colorado: Annette Zook

Idaho: Cory Bennett

Montana: Lisa Scott

Nevada: Lynn Trell

Utah: Shannon Ference

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