Our Master Teachers
The 6th Grade Team
Andrea Palmer is a 6th grade math teacher at Prospect Hill Academy in urban Somerville, MA right outside of Boston. A graduate of Miami University and Harvard Graduate School of Education, she served as a Teach For America Corp Member in Phoenix, Arizona. She speaks Spanish and has traveled in South America.
Beth Haney is a 6th grade math teacher at Marion Cross Elementary School in rural Norwich, VT with over 20 years of classroom experience. She is passionate about math education and is committed to fostering a love for mathematics in her students. She earned a Masters Degree in Mathematics Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Vermont.
Michelle Schade is a 6th grade teacher at Indian Trail Middle School in Plainfield, IL. She brings 12 years of experience to the Master Teacher Project. A leader in her school, she is head of the math department, a mentor teacher and coach of the cross country team.
Natalie Pough is a 6th grade teacher from Alice Deal Middle School in Washington, DC. As the 6th grade math department chairperson at her school, she is always at the forefront of technology and implements a wide variety of tech tools in her classroom.
The 7th Grade Team
Grant Harris is a 7th grade math teacher at Samuel J. Green Charter School (a Firstline School) in New Orleans, LA. An enthusiastic educator with 8 years of classroom experience, he majored in Music Theory at Northwestern and is a talented musician. He has studied abroad in Tanzania and brings his unique experiences into the classroom to illuminate math for his students.
Jada Jackson is a 7th grade math teacher and CCSS intsructional coach at Dominion Middle School in Columbus, Ohio. A thoughtful educator with over 15 years of experience, she is a proud Ohio State graduate, who completed her doctoral studies in 2007. Her dissertation centered around teacher morale in middle school.
Heather Stephan is a 7th grade math teacher at Southern Alamance Middle School in Burlington, North Carolina. She holds National Board Certification in Early Adolescence Math, and is the 2013 Southern Middle School Teacher of the Year. She is a fan of Mastery Connect, as it allows her to quickly gauge her students' understanding. She has 10 years of experience, including many years in an inclusion environment.
Malissa St. Clair is a 7th grade math teacher at Champion Middle School in Columbus, Ohio. An outgoing, energetic teacher she is also the coach of the divisional champion girls basketball team. Malissa was the Columbus City Schools Teacher of the Year in 2005.
The 8th Grade Team
Christa Lemily is an 8th grade math teacher from South Warren Middle School in Bowling Green, KY. A former marketing manager for Fruit of the Loom, she began teaching mathematics seven years ago and has never looked back. A member of the Mathematic Design Collaborative, she brings a wealth of CCSS knowledge and creative instructional techniques to the project.
Jeff Li is an 8th grade math teacher at KIPP Infinity in Harlem, New York. A Teach For America alumnus, former executive director, and former management consultant, this Stanford and Bank Street graduate tries to "simultaneously ignite thinking (head) and inspire positive character development (heart)." Jeff was recognized by the US Department of Education in 2008 with the American Star of Teaching Award for his work in significantly raising student achievement.
Mary Webb is an 8th grade math teacher at North College Hill Middle School in North College Hill, OH. A former army instructor, she has been in the classroom for over 17 years. She is currently finishing her Ph.D at Miami University in curriculum and instruction. As a scholar and practitioner one of her goals for teaching math is to allow students to immediately experience the usefulness of math by creating unforgettable experiences through curriculum integration. Her research interest is how we reconceptualize the perception that math is not for everyone, not fun, can only be done by using paper and pencil, is not related to the real lives of students and only comes from a textbook.
Shaun Errichiello is an 8th grade math teacher at MS 255: The Salk School of Science in New York City. Eager to make math exciting and engaging for his students, he has a library of over 2,000 self-made videos that illustrate mathematical concepts.
The Algebra I Team
Mauricio Beltre is an Algebra I teacher at Bronx High School for Medical Science in New York City. He brings over 20 years of teaching experience to the Master Teacher Project, including many years as a teacher in the Dominican Republic.
James Bialasik is an Algebra I teacher from Amherst, NY. A talented teacher and teacher leader for the last 10 years, he currently teaches at Sweet Home Central School Disrict and simultaneously serves as an instructional coach, mentoring other math teachers. He also coaches football as well as track and field.
Jason Colombino is an Algebra I teacher at Salem High School in Salem, MA. A creative and thoughtful educator, he is currently finishing his Ph.D. at the Boston College Lynch School of Education and received his M.Ed from Harvard. He wrote his thesis on "Developing a Conceptual Model to Teach Algebra to Students with Asperger’s Syndrome".
Amanda Hathaway is an Algebra teacher at William J. Ostiguy High School in Boston, MA. Ostiguy is an alternative high school for students recovering from substance abuse, and Amanda brings her own empathetic and engaging practice to the Master Teacher Project.
The Algebra II Team
Amelia Jamision is an Alegbra II teacher at Vallivue High School in Caldwell, ID. A "serial crafter," she loves to bring art into her math classes and loves helping her students find and appreciate the patterns in math.
Jarod Hammel is an Algebra II teacher at Huntington High School in Huntington, IN. A young, enthusiastic educator, he is always looking for new ways to make math exciting for his students. He has even brought an accident reconstructor into his classroom!
Merrie Rampy is a Math and Science teacher in Craigmont, Idaho. Now teaching in a very rural school district in the plains of Idaho, she has taught in a wide variety of school systems from Montana to Las Vegas. Her diverse experiences and enthusiasm for Algebra II will enrich the Master Teacher Project.
Jacob Nazeck is an Algebra II and Geometry Teacher at Ridgeview Classical Schools in Fort Collins, Colorado. A graduate of Thomas Aquinas College with a Masters in Mathematics with a focus on teaching from the University of Northern Colorado, he teaches mathematics from a classical perspective. Experienced with Singapore Math as well, he employs the Socratic method to push his students towards deeper mathematical understanding.
The Geometry Team
Beth Menzie is a Geometry teacher in Amsterdam, NY with over 30 years of experience as a teacher leader and math instructor. She has worked in both private and public school settings, and now brings her talents to a high-needs school system where she engages her students through her creative instructional practices.
Marisa Laks is a Geometry teacher and math department chair, from New York City. In her eight years as a math teacher she has taught in five different schools, including two in England. She has worked with students in grades four through twelve. She is a New York City Department of Education Common Core Fellow, who brings a creative spin to her classroom everyday.
Tom Chandler is a Geometry teacher in rural Ault, Colorado. A graduate of the United States Naval Academy, Tom served as an officer in the Marine Corps before switching careers with the help of Troops to Teachers. He is an alumnus of the Teacher Education and Masters program at Colorado State University. At Highland High School he is the head of the math department and helps out as an assistant coach of track and cross country.
Stephanie Conklin is a Geometry and Algebra I teacher at Saratoga Springs High School in Saratoga Springs, NY. She previously taught in Boston at Another Course to College. She has both ESL and SPED certifications. She currently teaches in an inclusion environment. She received her M.Ed. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
The 12th Grade Team
James Dunseith is a 12th Grade teacher with the Master Teacher Project from Validus Preparatory Academy in the Bronx, New York City. He is a Master Teacher with Math for America and also serves as the coach of the school's cycling team. He loves to use Wordpress and other social media as tools for documenting his classes and engaging his students.
Jason Slowbe is a 12th Grade teacher with the Master Teacher Project focusing on both Calculus and Pre-Calculus. Jason teaches at San Marcos High School in San Diego, CA. Tech savvy, he creates and uses a variety of applets and other digital media to engage his students and promote conceptual understanding through multiple representations.
Hilary Yamtich is a 12th Grade teacher with the Master Teacher Project focusing on Pre-Calculus at Lighthouse Charter School in Oakland, CA. Hilary has 8 years experience as a teacher. A math major at UC Berkley, she is now a Math for America Master Teacher and head of the math department at her school.
Tiffany Dawdy is a 12th Grade teacher with the Master Teacher Project from Phoenix, AZ. She brings tremendous enthusiasm to her math classes at Camelback High School where she works with the Phoenix Union High School Team to align the math curriculum with the CCSS.
The Master Teacher Project
The Master Teacher Project is a natural outgrowth of BetterLesson’s mission to connect teachers in order to measurably improve instruction. Generously funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Project aims to create exemplary Common Core aligned, year-long courses, units and lessons. This content will be freely available to teachers everywhere beginning with math, grades 6-12. Even more, this project hopes to provide real recognition and professional opportunities to exceptional teachers around the country.
During this initial pilot program, 28 math Master Teachers will create and share lessons on BetterLesson. These fully articulated courses will be freely available and easily remixable. Master Teachers will also share complementary material in the form of hints, tips and reflections, which will endow their lessons with even greater usability. These reflections will provide a window into their classrooms and exemplary teaching practices. In doing so, BetterLesson will create a vehicle for online lesson study through virtual observation. The Master Teacher Project will create a living, breathing, body of knowledge around what exceptional instruction looks like in this country.
Who are the Master Teachers?
The first ever cohort of math Master Teachers is made up of 28 outstanding educators. Though they embrace a wide variety of teaching paradigms and serve different student populations, this diverse group is commonly united by their commitment to helping their students achieve excellence especially during this period of transition to the Common Core. They are all current classroom teachers and teacher leaders.
What will Master Teachers share?
Master Teachers will share a school year’s worth of Common Core Standard aligned courses, units and lessons. Master Teachers will also share complementary material, hints, tips and reflections, in the form of videos, written reflection, student work and a variety of other data and artifacts. These reflections will provide a window into their classrooms and exemplary teaching practices. In doing so, BetterLesson will create a vehicle for online lesson study through virtual observation.
How are these lessons Common Core aligned?
All our Master Teachers are working with Common Core coaches and math experts to make sure their lessons truly align to the Common Core. Our coaches have worked with the Gates Foundation around the math standards and the Math Design Collaborative.
What content areas is the Master Teacher Project covering?
At this time our Master Teachers will be sharing 6th, 7th, 8th, Algebra I, Algebra II, Geometry and 12th Grade Courses.
Will you be doing other Master Teacher Projects in the future?
Yes! We will be recruiting a second cohort of Master Teachers this spring.
Moreover, we hope to continue to expand the Master Teacher Project into all subject areas. Click here to let us know you are interested.
For more information about the Master Teacher Project please contact firstname.lastname@example.org