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Board of Directors

Regional Director, Southern US 2

Director Report

I work at the Charles A. Dana Center at The University of Texas at Austin which is a mission driven organization working to bring an equity-minded focus and heartfelt passion to ensure that all students—from kindergarten through postsecondary—have access to an excellent math education. My role is to work with every level of the education system—from local K-12 systems all the way through state-wide education systems and advocacy organizations—to bring innovative thinking and research-based approaches to pedagogy,... read more

Personal Message

As Professional Learning Specialist at the Charles A. Dana Center at The University of Texas at Austin I work with every level of the education system—from local K-12 systems all the way through state-wide education systems and advocacy organizations—to bring innovative thinking and research-based approaches to pedagogy, curriculum, instruction, and professional learning. My work nationally and across our region, especially with those systems serving large numbers of traditionally marginalized populations, continues to be focused on addressing equity issues through building system capacity for improvement. I consider NCSM one of my most trusted resources when working within these systems. I believe in NCSM’s vision of every student in every classroom having access to effective mathematics teachers, relevant curricula, culturally responsive pedagogy, and current technology. This lofty and vital goal can only be achieved if we are working together, and I look forward to working with this professional and diverse community of educational leaders to advance this mission. To quote Doctor Who, “If great men (and women) are forged in fire, it is the privileged few who get to light the flame.” This is our opportunity to light that flame for our students. This is the time to light the flame for great teachers. It begins with us, and working together we can make a difference for all students.

Member Story

It is through the reasoning and problem-solving skills we learn in our early mathematics education that we start to make sense of the natural world. From the most mundane task to the most complex problem, perseverance and flexibility in problem solving help us manage and navigate our lives. Unfortunately, so many students in the U.S. miss out on the opportunity to learn these critical skills. I have first-hand experience with an education system that didn’t meet my needs. As a student I was always considered “bad” at math and I struggled to even graduate due to my poor performance in my math classes. It wasn’t until I became an educator myself that I realized my struggles in mathematics were not a reflection of my abilities but were instead a reflection of the lack of opportunity I had to engage in math in relevant and meaningful ways. My way of sense-making in math didn’t fit in with traditional processes and algorithms, which interpreted as a lack of understanding. This epiphany led me to pursue leadership roles in the education field, particularly around mathematics, in an effort to create change and equitable learning opportunities for all students.

This journey resulted in me working at the district level as a mathematics coach and now as a lead developer of professional learning for educators and leaders across multiple, national projects. My focus is on increasing equitable access to quality mathematics experiences for all students across districts and states. My experience as a leader in the education community has taught me that, above all else, ALL students CAN learn math. It is up to us as educators to take responsibility for facilitating learning by providing opportunities for all students to engage in meaningful mathematics experiences in ways that make sense to them. This is especially important for those students who have been marginalized and whose educational experiences have hindered their ability to achieve their hopes and dreams.

I consider it an absolute honor and privilege to serve on the NCSM Board of Directors as the Regional Director for the Southern 2 region. My years of teaching and working at the Dana Center has taught me the importance of surrounding yourself with people whom you can learn and grow from. This role will allow me to learn from the experience of my colleagues in this region as well as other across NCSM. I look forward to contributing towards the common goals of the organization.

 

Southern US 2 Includes:

  • Alabama
  • Arkansas
  • Louisiana
  • Mississippi
  • Oklahoma
  • Tennessee
  • Texas

Local Affiliates

National Affiliates

Southern US 2 State Team Leaders

Mississippi
Brian Buckhalter

Oklahoma
Brigit Minden

Oklahoma
Anthony Purcell
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Tennessee
Cindy Cliche

Tennessee
Pam Stidham