Spring 2012
Master Teaching Fellowship Now Underway
Mentor Fellow Selected
20ll MfA SD Fellows
SDUSD "4M" Program
Advisory Council Meeting
BE WiSE "Math Party!"
SDSA Partnership Award
In the News
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

July 18 - August 7, 2012

California State University San Marcos

Summer Institute 2011 harel
Dr. Guershon Harel directs the MfA SD Summer Institute.

Summer Institute 2011 ver 1

 2011 MfA SD Summer Institute 

San Diego State University 


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)

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Support MfA SD's 2012   

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 

 Click to Donate Now

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Where We Teach:  2011 - 2012

Click link:  Map of Fellows' Schools   


Coronado Unified School District 

Coronado High School


Escondido Union High School District 

Escondido High School 

Orange Glen High School 

Valley High School


Grossmont Union High School District 

Helix Charter High School


Oceanside Unified School District 

El Camino High School


Poway Unified School District 

Mount Carmel High School


San Diego Unified School District 

Audubon Elementary and Middle School 

Bethune Elementary and Middle School 

Gompers Preparatory Academy 

La Jolla High School 

Lincoln High School 

Mira Mesa High School 

Monroe Clark Middle School 

Morse High School 

Patrick Henry High School 

Perkins Elementary and Middle School 

Scripps Ranch High School 

Serra High School


San Dieguito Union High School District 

Canyon Crest Academy 

La Costa Canyon High School


Sweetwater Union High School District 

Olympian High School


Vista Unified School District 

Vista High School 

Vista Magnet Middle School

WelcomeWelcome Math for America San Diego Friends,

Thanks to your support, Math for America San Diego is making remarkable progress in its mission to help transform mathematics education in our region. It's been an exciting time for us as our work continues to gain significant momentum. In less than four years, MfA SD has grown from six fellows in 2008 to 39 fellows in 2012. Our reach now extends to 10 school districts where 31 MfA SD fellows currently teach in  24 schools


Our fourth annual Summer Institute will be held this year at California State University San Marcos, July 18 - August 7. Because of the strong interest in our Summer Institute teaching methodologies, we are exploring new ways to expand our professional development program to mathematics departments in our partner districts. Currently, we work with Morse High School and Mira Mesa High School in the San Diego Unified School District.  You can read about the professional development program in this newsletter. 


The applications continue to come in for our 2012 Master Teaching Fellowship, so if you are interested in becoming a part of this very select group of teacher-leaders, contact us now.  The deadline for the application is April 16.   


In this newsletter, we update the status of our two fellowship programs, recap our annual Advisory Council meeting, introduce our exceptional Mentor Fellow Brian Shay and highlight our continuing relationship with San Diego Science Alliance's BE WiSE program.


It is our privilege to support the dedicated mathematics teaching fellows of Math for America San Diego. We remain grateful to our generous donors who make this possible.   


Please keep in touch with us as we work towards better mathematics education for students in San Diego County schools. 

Barbara Edwards

All the best,
Barbara Edwards
Executive Director 

2011 MTF cohort 

MfA SD Launches Noyce Master Teaching Fellowship

The MfA SD NSF Noyce Master Teaching Fellowship program is now underway with the selection of seven exemplary and experienced mathematics teachers.  The 2011 Master Teaching Fellows are (clockwise): Jannelle Olivier, Olympian High School; Suzanne Fore, Serra High School; Michelle Hammack, Orange Glen High School; Frederick Griesbach, Mira Mesa High School; Cheryl Tyler, Helix Charter High School; Trang Vu, La Jolla High School and Gregory Guayante, El Camino High School.  


The five-year MfA SD Noyce Master Teaching Fellowship is supported through a $1.4 million grant awarded in 2010 by the National Science Foundation.


"We are pleased with the level of mathematics knowledge and enthusiasm for teaching our new Master Teaching Fellows bring to the program," said Dr. Guershon Harel, professor of mathematics at the University of California, San Diego and principal investigator of the NSF grant. "These  experienced educators are strongly  committed to working with their colleagues to increase mathematics understanding and achievement in students. Our goal is to enhance their instructional and leadership capabilities and provide new opportunities for collaboration among their department and district colleagues."    


Under the direction of Dr. Harel, Master Teaching Fellows review existing teaching approaches and curricula, and explore alternative, research-based teaching practices, including DNR (Duality, Necessity and Repeated Reasoning). Developed by Dr. Harel, the DNR approach differs from other professional development work by simultaneously concentrating on a teacher's knowledge of mathematics, on how students learn and on specific teaching methods. Master Teaching Fellows receive onsite support and are able to visit and observe a mathematics classroom at Patrick Henry High School (PHHS) where MfA SD Senior Program Associate and PHHS mathematics teacher Dr. Ovie Soto uses DNR in his daily mathematics instruction.


About the Program: The MfA SD Noyce Master Teaching Fellowship offers comprehensive leadership training and professional development to experienced middle and high school mathematics teachers who currently teach in high need school districts. Fellows receive an annual $10,000 stipend and professional development, including participation in a three-week summer institute and academic year workshops. Applications for the 2012 program are currently being accepted. 


For more information on the program and eligibility requirements,


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Distinguished Teacher Selected as Mentor Fellow
Math for America San Diego is pleased to announce the selection of  Brian Shay as a Mentor Fellow for the Math for America San Diego Fellowship program.  
Brian Shay 
"Brian is a very accomplished and inspiring mathematics teacher," said Barbara Edwards, MfA SD executive director. "He was selected as a mentor for his extensive mathematics knowledge, communication skills and commitment to improving mathematics teaching and learning.  We are delighted to have a teacher of his caliber working with our new fellows."

Shay will provide one-on-one, onsite support to selected new MfA SD fellows during their first years of teaching.  He also will participate in
professional development activities, including an annual three-week summer institute and academic year workshops.

"Mathematics is a challenging subject to teach and to learn," Shay said. 
"I know the importance of personal support during a teacher's early years in the classroom.  As a mentor, I can provide guidance and insight to help new teachers develop successful approaches for improved mathematics instruction."  

Shay teaches mathematics at Canyon Crest Academy in Carmel Valley.  He is the recipient of numerous awards including the 2009 Greater San Diego Mathematics Council Outstanding High School Math Teacher award.


Shay was one of 16 people awarded the 2008 Fulbright-Hays scholarship where he spent five weeks in India studying its culture, education structure and mathematics curriculum. In 2010, he was appointed by Governor Schwarzenegger to serve on the Academic Content Standards Commission where he was an integral part of crafting California's new standards based on the Common Core State Standards. Shay was asked to join the California Teacher Advisory Council, the teacher arm of the California Council on Science and Technology. He currently serves as Vice-Chair of the Teacher Advisory Council, where he advises industry and the state legislature about STEM education.  

Shay holds two MA degrees from the University of California, Davis in Mathematics (2000) and in Mathematics Teaching (2002). He graduated summa cum laude with a BA degree and MA degree in Mathematics in 1998 from State University of New York (SUNY) Potsdam. He holds the distinct honor of becoming the first student in the school's history to graduate with a BA and MA in Mathematics in three years. He is a member of the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society and Pi Mu Epsilon Math Honor Society at SUNY Potsdam and was selected as a Potsdam Presidential Scholar. 

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All-Women Cohort for 2011 MfA SD Noyce Fellowship 
2011 TF Cohort
2011 MfA SD Noyce Fellows (left to right): Kathleen Barry (UCSD), Robin Dobashi (UCSD), Brynn Hewitt  (UCSD), Frances Henderson (SDSU), Leslee Howe (CSUSM) and Lauren Brown-Cornell (UCSD).

Six outstanding women have been selected for the 2011 MfA SD Noyce Fellowship. The future high school mathematics teachers are pursuing their single subject teaching credential and will be placed in San Diego high school classrooms this fall.

"Each new fellow has a strong passion for teaching and a determination to advance mathematics understanding in high school students, especially those in underserved schools and districts," said MfA SD executive director Barbara Edwards. "These new fellows recognize the critical importance of equipping students with the mathematics knowledge necessary for college and beyond."

MfA SD Fellows obtain their teaching credential from one of the program's partnership universities - California State University San Marcos, San Diego State University or the University of California, San Diego. Upon completion of the university credential program, MfA SD Fellows receive job placement assistance from partner school districts and commit to four years of teaching in a high need secondary school in San Diego County.

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"4M" Professional Development Program Now Underway at SDUSD High Schools     

Mathematics teachers from San Diego Unified School District's Morse High School and Mira Mesa High School are learning new ways to teach and learn mathematics through a program offered by Math for America San Diego. The "Math at Morse and Mira Mesa" (4M) professional development series offers research-based teaching practices with a focus on Common Core State Standards instruction.      


"The Common Core State Standards framework outline a set of core practices, concepts and skills that mathematics teachers are expected to incorporate into their teaching practice," said Dr. Guershon Harel, professor of mathematics at the University of California San Diego, and director of the professional development project. "We are introducing teachers to effective ways to encourage quantitative reasoning among students." 


Program participants meet for monthly, on-site department seminars that conclude with a one-week summer workshop in August 2012.  MfA SD leadership provide classroom observations and debriefings, and lesson planning consultations.  Participants can observe exemplary teachers demonstrating the program methods.


"We're pleased the San Diego Unified School District provided us with the opportunity to work with these two mathematics departments.  We believe collaboration among whole departments can lead to a dynamic change in mathematics instruction and student understanding,"  Harel said.  "We hope this model of professional development will be adopted by other interested schools and districts."

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Master Teaching Fellows Discuss Program Impact at 2012 Advisory Council Meeting 

A panel of Master Teaching Fellows provided a lively and informative discussion on the impact of MfA SD's professional development on students at the January 18, 2012 MfA SD Advisory Council Meeting at UC San Diego's Faculty Club. Guests included partner district superintendents, university faculty and administration, and community advisory council members. Barbara Edwards, MfA SD executive director, introduced the new fellows in attendance and presented highlights from the 2011 annual report.


The panel discussion centered on the fellowship's professional development work, specifically the use of DNR (Duality, Necessity and Repeated Reasoning), a teaching approach developed by Dr. Guershon Harel, professor of mathematics at UC San Diego and principal investigator for the NSF Noyce Master Teaching Fellowship program.  


Master Teaching Fellows panelists were Gregory Guayante, El Camino High School; Michelle Hammack, Orange Glen High School; Jannelle Olivier, Olympian High School; and Cheryl Tyler, Helix Charter High School. Chris Reising, San Diego County Office of Education's Director of Teacher Recruitment and Support, served as facilitator.  


Panelists discussed how newly acquired teaching practices have enhanced their knowledge of mathematics, and influenced their teaching and interaction with students and colleagues:  


"MfA SD's professional development has drastically changed the way I think about my teaching and my students. I learned math as lots of procedures, but was never taught how to be a problem-solver. This program has opened my eyes and has made me go back and re-learn math as a problem-solver. It allows for more freedom, more depth of understanding."
- Michelle Hammack


"I tried polynomial long division the way Guershon taught it to us. I taught it in my first period until the students understood it, and that was hard.  So second period I went back to old ways. When I tested both classes, the kids in first period were more successful on the test." - Cheryl Tyler 


"DNR puts you in students' seats and that is an important context.  It has really challenged me." - Gregory Guayante 

Summer Institute 2011 class
Fellows work with DNR at the 2011 MfA SD Summer Institute

"I spent two days on teaching triangle inequality, and my students did better on benchmark assessments because they really understood it and  were able to break down the problem. That was something they were doing because of my instruction.  I can tell it works when the kids can tell you what they're doing, and why they are doing it." - Jannelle Olivier 

List of 2011-2012 MfA SD Advisory Council Members

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BE WiSE Alumnae Attend MfA SD "Math Party!"

BEWiSE Nov. 2011
MfA SD's BE WiSE "Math Party!" November 2011
Who says 9 a.m. on Saturday is too early for a good party?  Not BE WiSE alumnae who attended MfA SD's "Math Party!" workshops, held November 5, 2011 and February 11, 2012 at UC San Diego.   


MfA SD fellows present annual workshops for BE WiSE as part of their  first-year fellowship activities. The workshops are designed to spark interest and passion for mathematics among alumnae participants of  San Diego Science Alliance's BE WiSE program (Better Education for Women in Science & Engineering).  BE WiSE was founded to support young women interested in the study of science and engineering.  


This year's BE WiSE alumnae enjoyed challenging games based on  mathematical skills and concepts.  November workshop activities for the high school group included  Let's Make a Deal, Tower of Hanoi, matchstick games, 24 Cranes, the Burning Rope logic puzzle, pipe and string theory, Math Magic games and card tricks.   Middle school girls attending the February program learned about the art of origami, working with the Golden Ratio and solving spatial puzzles. 
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MfA SD Fellows Earn Community Partnership Award

SDSA award 2011
MfA SD's 2010 Fellows with SDSA 's 2011 Community Partnership Award

Math for America San Diego 2010 Fellows received the San Diego Science Alliance 2011 Community Partnership Award for developing a series of outstanding workshops for the BE WiSE alumnae program. The workshops featured "The Vision of Maria Agnesi," an overview of the history of women in math and science, and "Real World Math," a morning of entertaining and educational hands-on activities incorporating probability, statistics, weighted averages, scale and proportion concepts and logic puzzles.  

"The BE WiSE alumnae were well aware that the Fellows really love math and
the many ways it is used in everyday life - thus providing a great role model. 
BE WiSE is most fortunate to have a partnership with Math for America San Diego."

~2011 San Diego Science Alliance Nominating Committee
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In the News

Recent news articles for Math for America San Diego 


The San Diego Union Tribune announces Brian Shay as Mentor Fellow in its Feb. 20, 2012  School Notes column.  

Barbara Bry and Neil Senturia's column "I'm There for You, Baby" in the San Diego Union Tribune's Feb. 14, 2012 edition features MfA SD and the importance of  mathematics education in business.  

The San Diego Union Tribune profiles MfA SD Noyce Master Teaching Fellow Cheryl Tyler in its Jan. 26, 2012  Teacher Spotlight column.

San Diego Unified School District Jan. 13, 2012  Friday Notes announces MfA SD Noyce Master Teaching Fellows Suzanne Fore, Frederick Griesbach and Trang Vu.

North County Times Dec. 6, 2011 columnist Paul Pfingsten interviews MfA SD executive director Barbara Edwards about Kathleen Barry's selection as a 2011 MfA SD Noyce Fellow.

CSU San Marcos E-Newsletter Dec. 6, 2011 posts Leslee Howe's announcement as a 2011 MfA SD Noyce Fellow.

Sweetwater Union High School District News Dec. 5, 2011 features Jannelle Olivier's MfA SD Noyce Master Teaching Fellowship award.

The Scripps College Alumnae e-newsletter Tenth & Columbia profiles 2011 MfA SD Fellow Robin Dobashi in its December 2011 Names from the Wall Q&A column.

San Diego State University NewsCenter Nov. 29, 2011 announces the selection of Francesca Henderson as a 2011 MfA SD Noyce Fellow.

La Jolla Light Nov. 24, 2011 announces Trang Vu as a MfA SD Noyce Master Teaching Fellow.

Coast News Nov. 23, 2011 interviews MfA SD Noyce Master Teaching Fellow Gregory Guayante and Professor Guershon Harel.

Columbia University's Nov. 18, 2011 Columbia College Today  e-news announces Kathleen Barry's selection as a 2011 MfA SD Noyce Fellow.

Point Loma Nazarene University's PLNU Forward  Nov. 17, 2011 e-news announces Leslee Howe's selection as a 2011 MfA SD Noyce Fellow.

La Mesa Patch  Nov. 9, 2011 posts announcement of Cheryl Tyler as a 2011 Noyce Master Teaching Fellow.


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