News from the Western 1 Region
Sandie Gilliam, Western 1 Regional Director
Winter 2017/2018

Greetings Western 1 NCSM members and friends. I hope your holiday break was joyous and filled with family, friends, and fun. Another new year begins and brings with it both events and learning.


It’s been a busy fall, with regional visits to Colorado, Montana, and Nevada. Mid-September started the conference season with Colorado’s Captiv8. To enhance the professionalism and learning feel, CCTM changed the venue of their annual conference to the University of Denver. Annie Fetter, from The Math Forum at NCTM, gave the opening talk, "Sense-Making: Is it at the Core of Your Classroom?" On to Montana for Soar Across the Big Sky. What I find interesting for many of my states, including Montana, is that conferences aren’t just targeted to math. In Montana, almost all the schools have the same, designated statewide professional development days, so teachers can travel to one location and attend sessions in all content areas. Supported by MEA and MFT, this year’s conference was held in Missoula. Before the conference, I met with the board of MCTM to talk about affiliation. After the conference, I attended the MEA-MFT dinner that recognized the 2018 Montana Teacher of the Year, 4th-grade math teacher Melissa Romano. Then I was off to Las Vegas, Nevada to meet teachers who attended NCTM’s Innov8 Regional Conference. Again and again, I talked with conference attendees, many of them math coaches, who had never heard of NCSM and our special attention to math coaching! My winter 2018 plans include visits to Arizona Math Leaders and the MidSchoolMath National Conference in New Mexico.


NCSM is 50 years strong! Join the celebration of our accomplishments in promoting and supporting mathematics education leadership at the annual conference April 23-25, 2018, at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. The conference theme is Leading Mathematics into the Future: Inspiring Monumental Change. Dr. Pedro Noguera is providing the opening keynote address, "Equity and Deeper Learning in Mathematics", which is not to be missed. Dr. Noguera, Distinguished Professor of Education at the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies at UCLA, will speak on supporting and cultivating effective teaching in schools as well as how to motivate and engage students through teaching strategies that foster deeper learning and the utilization of higher order thinking skills.

The 2018 conference will include over 250 sessions, and this year two pre-conference sessions will be offered Sunday afternoon. The two four-hour offerings are:

  • Math Coaches Enact Principles to Actions: Intentionally Balancing Content and Context to Make Instructional Shifts
  • Using Equity & Social Justice to Build Mathematics Leadership

Take advantage of these opportunities. If you registered prior to November 6, 2017, there may be an opportunity to add a pre-conference session to your registration.

The conference is organized around five strands, developed to provide an opportunity to take a deep dive into a given topic. Below are 2018 conference strands:

  1. Equity in Practice
  2. Cultivating a Mathematics Coaching Practice
  3. Evidence and Experiences from the Field
  4. Developing Mathematical Knowledge for Teaching
  5. Leading Mathematics into the Future

NCSM Caucus

The Western Region 1 Caucus, scheduled for Tuesday afternoon (time and place to be announced in the program), provides the opportunity to meet as a region, receive updated information on NCSM initiatives and events, and for you to give input to NCSM. Let your voice be heard. Stay tuned for the topic(s) we need your help with. I hope to see you there.

We Need You: Volunteer!

Volunteering at the NCSM Annual Conference is a rewarding experience, providing you with opportunities to network and make new friends as well as contribute to an enhanced conference experience for all attendees. There are many tasks to be done on site, and since many hands make light work, you are encouraged to volunteer.

See the Sights

Washington, D.C. is a great place to explore. Plan ahead to visit the monuments, museums, and more. Some of the Smithsonian museums require timed-entry passes, which are available in advance. Know before you go!

Read the NCSM statement, NCSM Stands up for Students and the Leaders, Teachers, and Coaches who Support Them, and those of AMTE, NCTM, and TODOS in support of research and academic debate within the context of equity and social justice and in general.

This article is featured on the NCSM web site (Latest News tab). In these times of attacks on perspectives supporting a social justice stance in or cultural aspects of mathematics education, it is important to stand up for what one believes and support others who do as well. NCSM does.


Reach out to your colleagues and invite them to join NCSM. Direct them to our website and its many resources. Encourage them to sign up for eNews to find out what we are about. Help us build our mathematics education leadership community.


January 20 Math Educators Appreciation Day (conference) in Tucson, AZ
February 9 Arizona Mathematics Leaders in Phoenix, AZ
March 2-3 MidSchoolMath National Conference in Santa Fe, NM
April 8 Math in the Mountains (conference) in Flagstaff, AZ
Spring Alaska:
Alaska Council of Teachers of Mathematics (ACTM), working with Math Solutions, will be offering 3 workshops. Each workshop will also have a coaching component for those who are interested. We are excited to be able to offer quality professional development to our remote regions in Alaska.