Born and raised in Canada, I have now lived most of my adult life in Southern California. Educated at the University of Western Ontario, Université Laval in Québec, and University of Toronto, my 21 years of teaching mathematics began in Toronto before being recruited by Long Beach Unified in California. During the late 80’s era of teacher shortages and back to basics, mastery learning, I experienced firsthand how such mandated approaches suck the beauty, fun, and life out of mathematics learning, and how such systems affect students’ future trajectories.
Classroom teacher, department chair, and site teacher leader roles led to PreK-12 district mathematics coordinator for Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District during the ushering in of the common core state standards era-the way we really wanted to teach in the 80’s. I have been an NCTM member since my student teaching days in Toronto, and once in California, the California Mathematics Council, CMC, was added to my professional learning network. Both provide a haven of thoughtful ideas around quality math instruction and a network of thoughtful educators throughout the eras. NCSM became and continues to be my leadership support for which I am grateful and appreciative. Just as I wished to give back to CMC-South by being an active member of its executive board including presidency, I look forward to giving back and boldly leading together with NCSM and its members.
NCSM, like CMC, have missions and commitments to equity and diversity that match my beliefs; so I look forward to continuing to uphold, support, and move further forward as NCSM Western Region 2 Director and advocate!
I began my journey as an educator more outside my own classroom in August of 2006 having had various site leadership roles all while being a 21 year classroom teacher. NCSM has been instrumental in supporting me as a mathematics leader as I now try to impact student and adult learning. Whether attending for only one, very valuable day at NCSM San Diego 2010 to a more complete Philadelphia 2012 conference experience, NCSM has since been my professional learning network at its annual conference and year round with its resources and networking opportunities.
As a first generation college goer for whom mathematics pathways were fortunately not dictated, it has been important to me to address access to quality mathematics for all students. It should not be luck of where a family settles and the school programs and systems in place that affect a child’s potential, experiences, and life choices. Much of my leadership passion and priority is articulated in the NCSM-TODOS position paper on teaching mathematics with an equity and social justice lens that includes accountability mechanisms to true action in “making a just and equitable mathematics education a sustainable reality” for ALL students.
My current PreK-12 mathematics coordinator role gives me a district level perspective for excellence in leadership. It is an honour to be able to expand what I have learned locally to support our larger Western Region 2, and in so doing, affect leadership in instruction and achievement for a larger number of educators and their students nationally. We can “do right by our children and move forward together” NCSM-TODOS Position Paper