I was lucky. I had an innovative algebra teacher in high school who turned mathematics into something interesting, meaningful, and useful for me. This teacher took me from being a disinterested mathematics student who did not enjoy mathematics and did not see myself as being capable of doing mathematics to being someone who loved math class and even wanted to become a high school math teacher. As a teacher, I was always trying to make sure that my students had a similar experience. Now, as I support teachers, my goal is to help them grow and provide their students with positive math experiences.
I first became aware of NCSM when I took on the role of high school math department chair. All of a sudden, I was expected to support my colleagues and in a more formal way. As I was looking for resources that would help me do that, I came across NCSM. I started out using some of the online resources and books, and then had an opportunity to attend the conference. I have had a similar experience every time I have been lucky enough to attend the conference and find that it is the most useful and empowering conference for people supporting mathematics teachers.