Spring 2011
$1.4 Million NSF Grant
Dr. Osvaldo Soto
2010 Fellowship
Fund Raiser
BE WiSE Workshops
Advisory Council Meeting
Our Mission


Math for America San Diego

seeks to improve student learning of mathematics by providing outstanding new teachers (MfA SD Fellows) with extensive professional support in their credential year and in their first four years of teaching.


Our Goals 

Improve retention rate of mathematics teachers in low-performing and urban secondary schools.


Improve the quality of mathematics teaching by increasing teachers' content knowledge and pedagogical skills.


Improve student learning and achievement in mathematics in identified schools or school clusters.

2010 Cohort

2010 MfA SD Fellows

MfA SD Summer Institute 2010
Summer Institute 2010 GH Table

Master Teaching Fellows will attend an annual Summer Institute directed by Dr. Guershon Harel (pictured right).

Summer Institute Fellows 2010 Classroom

MfA SD fellows and partner district teachers at the 2010 Summer Institute.


Our Generous Supporters


James B. Ax Foundation


Mara W. Breech Family Foundation  


Barbara Bry and Neil Senturia Fund


Todd and Mari Gutschow Family Foundation


Joan and Irwin Jacobs Foundation


Jewish Community Foundation of San Diego   


Maggie and Paul Meyer


Viterbi Family Foundation  


Math for America (National Office)

MfA SD bl logo cropped

Support MfA SD's 2011  

Fund Raising Campaign  


Math for America San Diego is a not-for-profit 501 (c) (3) organization with tax exempt status. We welcome support in any amount.


fundraising campaign stacy coakley 

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Where We Teach:  

MfA SD Teaching Fellows

 in Partner School Districts 


 2010 - 2011


Escondido Union High School District

  • Escondido High School
  • Orange Glen High School
  • Valley High School

Oceanside Unified School District

  • Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School

San Diego Unified School District

  • Health Sciences High and Middle College
  • Kearny High School of International Business
  • Madison High School
  • Morse High School
  • Patrick Henry High School
  • San Diego Early/Middle College
  • Serra High School

Vista Unified School District

  • Vista Magnet Middle School

TopDear Math for America San Diego Friend, 
Spring is here, bringing warm weather, more sunshine and good news for Math for America San Diego and math education in our region.  News stories for Spring 2011 include:

* Details on our second National Science Foundation (NSF) grant - The $1.4 million award provides funding for the new "Math for America San Diego Noyce Master Teaching Fellowship Program."


* Local media coverage - Amid bleak news about education budget cuts and falling math achievement scores, the San Diego Union-Tribune found a bright spot in its report on our program.  The article ran on the front page of the Sunday, April 3, 2011 edition. Read here  


* Fellowship news - We have awarded 25 fellowships to date; sixteen MfA SD fellows teach in local secondary schools and nine will complete their teaching credential this spring. We are currently recruiting for 2011 teacher and master teaching fellowship programs.  


* The newest member of Math for America San Diego - We are pleased to announce Dr. Ovie Soto has joined our staff.  Ovie will work closely with fellows in the field and oversee professional development activities.

SIO sunset

Jim Simons, founder of Math for America, speaks at MfA SD's first annual fund raising reception, Oct. 28, 2010 at Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

* Fund raising news - Despite an unseasonably cold and rainy October, the skies cleared for MfA SD's first annual fund raising reception, generously underwritten by the James B. Ax Foundation. More than 80 guests attended the evening reception.
We remain tremendously grateful for the enthusiastic support from the academic, civic and business communities as we continue our progress towards improving math education in San Diego County schools. 

Barbara Edwards
All the best,
Barbara Edwards
Executive Director

MfA SD Receives $1.4 Millions to Fund Master Teaching Fellowship Program   
For the second year in a row, Math for America San Diego has secured a National Science Foundation (NSF) Robert Noyce Teachers Scholarship Program award.  The new $1.4 million grant will fund the MfA SD Noyce Master Teaching Fellowship Program, an innovative leadership and development program designed for experienced middle and high school math teachers.

"We are tremendously honored that the NSF continues to recognize math for America San Diego's work and commitment to improving math education in San Diego County," said Barbara Edwards, MfA SD executive director.

According to Dr. Guershon Harel, UC San Diego mathematics professor and principal investigator of the grant, the professional and leadership development work will be guided by two fundamental questions: (1) What is the mathematics that should be taught in school? and (2) How should it be taught?


"The intellectual merit of our program lies in the continual restatement of those questions and the re-evaluation of the answers by the mathematics and education communities," Harel said. "The project's goals of developing teacher leaders in and for mathematics and developing the infrastructure to sustain these efforts are practical but they are informed at every stage by these fundamental questions of mathematics teaching and learning."  

The five year program is currently accepting applications through April 22, 2011 from teachers who hold a master's degree, have outstanding teaching and interpersonal skills and teach in a high need school or school district in San Diego County.   


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Dr. Osvaldo Soto Joins Math for America San Diego
Ovie Soto
Dr. Ovie Soto

MfA SD is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Osvaldo "Ovie" Soto as Senior Program Associate for MfA SD's Master Teaching Fellowship (MTF) Program. Ovie provides field support to teaching fellows and master teaching fellows. He will continue to teach two mathematics classes at Patrick Henry High School.


"Ovie is an outstanding addition to Math for America San Diego," said Barbara Edwards, MfA SD executive director.  "His own classroom at Patrick Henry High School keeps him grounded in the daily work of teaching while also providing a laboratory for new teachers."  Read more        

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Fellows Near Completion of First Year Program   
MfA SD's 2010 fellows are slated to complete their single subject mathematics teaching credential this spring and interview for local high school teaching positions.  Fellows from California State University San Marcos (CSUSM), San Diego State University (SDSU) and the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) will be ready to teach in partner district schools in the fall. 

"Our 2010 fellows have strong mathematics backgrounds, are confident, enthusiastic and committed to teaching
middle and high school students," said Barbara Edwards, MfA SD executive director. "They're a superb group of new teachers excited about making a difference in local classrooms."

2010 Cohort - professional

MfA SD 2010 Fellows (top left to right): Thomas Polhill (CSUSM), Aurmon Harchegani (SDSU), Garrett Happ (SDSU) and Brennan Matuza (SDSU).  Bottom (from left): Scott Frazier (UCSD), Yekaterina Milvidskaia (UCSD), Cristina Jimenez (UCSD), Kristen Zanoni (SDSU), Gayle Kovacevic (SDSU) and Michael Engebrits (CSUSM).

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First Annual MfA SD Benefit Reception Attracts Business, Academic Communities

A stunning sunset and unmatched views of the Pacific provided the backdrop for MfA SD's first annual fund raising event.  The seaside reception, held Oct. 28, 2010 at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, featured special guest Jim Simons, founder of Math for America, and Jennifer Ouellette, author of "The Calculus Diaries: How Math Can Help You Lose Weight, Win in Vegas, and Survive a Zombie Apocalypse".  Guests enjoyed wine and hors d'oeuvres while learning about the MfA SD program and mingling with MfA SD fellows.  The James B. Ax Foundation sponsored the event.



Brian Keating, UC San Diego associate professor of physics and MfA SD Advisory Council member (left), introduces Congresswoman Susan Davis, 53rd District, CA to MfA Founder Jim Simons. 

"The strong turnout of San Diego business and civic members is impressive," said John Ewing, president of Math for America in New York City.  "They understand an educated workforce with solid mathematical skills is necessary to compete in today's global markets."  

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"Real World" Math Inspires BE WiSE Students 

"I learned how I can use math to make decisions, how to strategize in games and how to prove or disprove things." 


"I learned how to better understand probability problems, I learned how to think logically and challenge my own way of thinking to solve problems."  

-BE WiSE 2011 Participants 


More than 50 middle and high school girls of San Diego Science Alliance's BE WiSE program explored how practical math applications can be used for problem solving and decision making during two lively workshops hosted by MfA SD fellows. The Saturday morning sessions, held in November 2010 and February 2011 at UC San Diego, were designed to spark interest and passion for mathematics among these girls. BE WiSE (Better Education for Women in Science & Engineering) is a program supporting young women interested in the study of science and engineering.


BE WiSE Yekaterina

MfA SD Fellow Yekaterina Milvidskaia addresses cultural issues facing women and math at the November MfA SD BE WiSE Workshop.

The November workshop, entitled "The Vision of Maria Agnesi" featured an overview of the history of women in math and science. The February workshop presented "We Use Math" (YouTube link below), a video addressing "real world" benefits of a math education. The workshops provided entertaining and educational hands-on activities incorporating probability, statistics, weighted averages, scale and proportion concepts and logic puzzles. MfA SD fellows are responsible for designing and presenting these programs for BE WiSE as part of the first-year fellowship activities.   

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We Use Math - Introduction

"We Use Math"  

Video Introduction for 2011 MfA SD BE WiSE Workshop

Teacher/Student Panel Highlights 2011 MfA SD Advisory Council Meeting  
A panel of MfA SD teachers and their math students discussed teaching and learning at the third annual MfA SD Advisory Council meeting, January 19, 2011.  The dinner meeting, held at UC San Diego's Faculty Club, also provided a venue for Advisory Council members to meet the new 2010 fellows.

Jennifer Jeffries, Advisory Board President and Associate Vice President of Planning and Accreditation at CSU San Marcos, facilitated the panel discussion. Panelists included Tomas Cometto, MfA SD teacher at the School of International Business (SIB) at Kearny High and his student Hayatt Yasin; Eric Flam, MfA SD teacher at Escondido High School and his student Ciara Murillo; and Becky Vega, MfA SD teacher at Morse High School and her student Rhowena Saulog.  
Advisory Dinner Tomas Panel 2

Tomas Cometto, MfA SD teacher at SIB at Kearny High School (center), responds to panel questions on classroom learning.  Also pictured (left to right) students Ciara Murillo and Haytt Yasin, Becky Vega, MfA SD teacher at Morse High School and student Rhowena Saulog.  

Round table discussions and general conversation between the Advisory Council members and guests focused on the role of the professional teacher as a change agent for improved math education in county schools.

List of 2011 MfA SD Advisory Council Members

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