It has been a pleasure serving you for the past 3.5 years. During that time, we have together navigated uncharted waters and built additional opportunities to network and connect. We have maintained and even enhanced opportunities to fulfill NCSM’s mission and vision. We have rallied and embraced an energy to persevere, problem solve and create a space to come together.
Educators have the potential to deeply impact lives. With this in mind, one of the most profound quotes that continues to shape me as an educator comes from one of my favorite books of the Bible. In James 3:1 there is a warning, “Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness.” It is no wonder that education is one of the toughest yet most rewarding professions; one that I’ve had the pleasure of pursuing for almost two decades.
I am a home-grown native of Yuma, Arizona also known as the Winter Lettuce Capital of the World. Yuma lies in the Sonoran Desert, framed by rugged mountains, irrigated by the Colorado River, and flooded with sunshine almost every day of the year. It is here that I have the privilege of working as the Mathematics Coordinator for a K-8 school district supporting district and site administrators, instructional coaches, and teachers in maintaining a culture of continual improvement, learning, and collaboration in the specialized area of mathematics. I’ve had the very fortunate opportunity of spending half of my educational career in the classroom, 10 years of teaching experience at both elementary and middle school levels, while the latter half has been at the district level working towards more systematic changes in mathematics education.
I hold a philosophy deeply rooted in the belief that educators at every level have a collective responsibility to ensure all students develop as strong mathematics learners confident in their intellectual, cultural, racial, ethnic, and linguistic backgrounds. I am eager and dedicated to serve the NCSM community with its established culture of professional collaboration and its mission to support, sustain, and inspire high-quality mathematics teaching and learning.
As a beginning mathematics leader, seeking mentors was one thing that I intuitively knew to do. Yet the quality of individuals that I was blessed to be supported by and their willingness to extend their expertise is one that I persistently try to pay forward. Through the prompting of these admired educators, I became deeply committed to the work of my state’s mathematics associations. I first began serving on the Board of Directors of NCTM’s state affiliate, Arizona Association of Teachers of Mathematics (AATM). I served three terms as Arizona’s West Central Regional Vice President before being appointed to Professional Learning Chair, my current role. Quickly I learned about NCSM’s state affiliate, Arizona Mathematics Leaders (AML), and soon began service, currently in my second term of office as Secretary.
Throughout the years as a mathematics leader, I attended numerous state and regional conferences whose focus audience was teachers. It wasn’t until my first NCSM conference that I realized there was a conference for leaders like me! As silly as it sounds, I was overwhelmed by the joy that realization brought. I found a large community of leaders, working through similar problems of practice, and it has been transformative. I have been reaping the incredible benefits as a member of NCSM which moves me into an act of service in support of this great organization. To that aim, I am humbled to represent Western 1 as regional director.