MATHEMATICS EDUCATOR AND CONSULTANT, Phoenix, AZ
My passion for NCSM began at my first conference in Philadelphia in 2004. I went to the conference as a "newbie" and left as a leader, wanting more. My mathematics leadership experiences have been cultivated through the relationships I have established and the professional learning I have participated in as an NCSM member. As a district leader, NCSM became my go-to mathematics leadership organization for support and continual learning as I navigated the changing roles and responsibilities of my job. And now, NCSM continues to support my growth as a leader through opportunities to network and collaborate with other leaders from across the country. NCSM and its members have set high expectations for and work to achieve high-quality mathematics leadership.
I believe that each and every child can learn mathematics and that my role as a teacher and leader is to ensure that each and every learner has access to meaningful mathematics instruction and support. The evolving demands of mathematics teaching and learning are a process for teachers and teams to work toward, rather than a to-do list. Collaboration and forward thinking are strengths of NCSM, and I am committed to ensuring NCSM continues to provide support to mathematics teachers and leaders as they continually strive to meet our vision of equity and excellence for all students and teachers.
As president, I will continue to support a legacy of strong collaboration and use the processes of continuous reflection, revision and action along with strong and consistent professional learning to reach a shared vision of meeting high expectations for students, teachers, leaders and community members. Kouznes and Posner (2012) stated, "Leadership isn't about imposing a leader's solo dream: it's about developing a shared sense of destiny."
Before taking on the mathematics specialist position in the curriculum division, I was a classroom teacher for 12 years in Phoenix Union High School District. I was "sanctioned" as a teacher of freshman because if you are successful with freshman you become a life-long 9th grade teacher. My last two years in the classroom were transformed by working on a collaborative team in a professional learning community. This team with an amazing group of teachers who were willing to be reflective, challenge status quo, and aim for improved student achievement. We were an effective collaborative team with a vision for equitable learning experiences. The team's individual strengths were cultivated and the work of the team was focused on building the collective capacity of the entire team.
Because of this experience, I decided to share my knowledge with 200+ teachers across the district and took on the role of Math Content Specialist. In the first month of the new job, Tim Kanold, a consultant with our district told me about NCSM and encouraged me to attend the annual conference in Philadelphia. Since that first conference in 2004, each conference or leadership academy I have attended has been a rejuvenating moment during the school year to push me to the next level of clearly articulated curriculum, researched-based instructional practices, and highly engaging assessment practices. Without the support of my colleagues and the leadership from NCSM and its members, my work in PUHSD would have definitely been more challenging. NCSM continues to support me as a leader and I am grateful for the relationships that have been created, the continuous collaboration and the strong community of leaders who are striving for increased student achievement for each and every learner.