David Perry '18
I am a math and technology teacher at Christ the King Elementary School in Rutland, VT. For mathematics, I teach the middle school (6th, 7th and 8th Grade). For the technology part of my job, I have a session with each class (Pre-K through 8) once a week. This gives me the opportunity to know all of the students in the school. Outside of school hours, I am a coach for the middle school basketball teams, a supervisor for CKS's after-school program, and an instructor for CKS's 5th grade Catechism program.
My academic path at Saint Michael's College was not very common. I started as a Biology major and switched to mathematics by the end of my second semester. I then started taking computer science courses as though I was a major, and wound up being able to pull off formally adding that major during my senior year. Though I ultimately found more passion and interest in Math and CS, I would not take back my time as a Biology major. It was through that major that I had the privilege to meet a lot of great professors and acquire some fascinating knowledge. Having a little extra background in Bio also strengthened my candidacy for the Math REU held at SMC in the summers of 2016 and 2017. Each day spent at Saint Michael's College offered me new experiences and perspectives that shaped me for the better and have made me the person I am today.
The mathematics and computer science departments, in particular, were crucial to me being where I am now. Their dedication to their work combined with their passion for sharing it with their students inspired me in how I went about my own work. I was thoroughly impressed by the attention to detail and preparation that they displayed in each of their lectures, and this drove me to be clear and thorough in my own work, regardless if it was a class presentation, written proof, or term paper. Their compassion and willingness to work with students outside of class motivated me to be a more patient and open-minded tutor and thinker, meeting the student where they are currently and guiding them to a more complete understanding. Mathematics, like any subject, can have a lot of overlap from class to class, and so I had the opportunity to see how various professors would explain the same concept. This, too, has resulted in a personal desire to see things from various points of view and have as complete an understanding of the material as possible, which has helped me a great deal with my own students. Every course taken and professor met at Saint Michael's College has been immeasurably beneficial to me in my own life, both inside and outside of the classroom.
Marcy Daley '17
I am a 3rd grade teacher at Johnson Elementary School in Johnson, VT. Although I am a general education teacher and I thoroughly enjoy teaching a broad range of subjects, math has always been one of my favorites to learn and teach! My goal is to develop a love for math in my students, as well.
Saint Michael’s Math Department has prepared me for a teaching career in more ways than I had ever imagined. First, my professors helped me realize how important it is to persevere, ask questions, openly share my thinking, and learn from others. I believe that all of these skills are incredibly important for my young students to begin developing now, too, as they work to understand complicated math concepts and solve problems using a variety of strategies. Second, my experiences solving real-world problems in SMC math classes have also helped me be better able to assure parents that the seemingly “new ways” of doing math in elementary school today will prepare students with the skills, strategies, and concepts that they’ll need to build on as they continue growing into strong math thinkers beyond elementary school.
Bethany Ramrath '17
I am a high school math teacher at Fall Mountain Regional High School in Langdon, NH. I currently teach all geometry classes, which has been quite the journey. Geometry has not always been my strong suit nor my interest, but Saint Michael's College taught be how to be open, flexible, and adapt to any situation. I have found that teaching a subject that's not my favorite drives me to create fun and interesting activities for my students.
I was a mathematics and secondary education major at SMC. I knew I wanted to be a math teacher since about tenth grade, I loved math and I loved kids. At SMC I had primarily focused on teaching middle school, which I would still love to teach, however I am happy getting some experience in high school. The education program at Saint Michael's is a fantastic program that gets you into the classroom as soon as freshman year. The communities surrounding SMC allow for very diverse experiences in the classroom, and it is absolutely invaluable. I was very fortunate my senior year, and I was placed at a school where I taught grades six through eight, so I was constantly switching gears and learning a plethora of strategies.
As for the math department at Saint Michael's, I feel very fortunate to have had some of the professors I did. They were always able to find time to help if I had any questions that weren't answered during class. I was also fortunate enough to be a Teaching Assistant, as well as a tutor for Praxis, and I truly believe that helped with some of my teaching skills. Although the students were my age, I still had to find different ways to explain concepts. The Mathematics Education Seminar was an excellent class to begin developing my skills of creating and presenting lessons. The other courses I had to take within the major really challenged me, but I was thankful to have professors, classmates, and many other resources at my fingertips to help me succeed.
Saint Michael's College was truly a great place that gave me all the tools I need to succeed.
Logan Tracy '16
I am a first year 5th grade teacher at Milton Elementary School, a public elementary school in Chittenden County, slightly north of St. Mike’s. Milton’s 5th grade is broken into three teams. Each team has two teachers, one that specializes in reading, and another that specializes in math. I am the math teacher for my team, which consists of forty-two students. I also teach handwriting, writing, science, and social studies for my homeroom class and an extra math class, and spelling class for a variety of 5th graders across all teams.
The mathematics department at St. Michael’s College has prepared me for teaching 5th grade math by providing me with a strong mathematical background. By knowing where students are headed in their mathematical journeys, I am aware of the foundational skills they need in order to succeed. The mathematics department also provided me with the opportunity to discuss mathematics at great length with peers. This allowed me to become comfortable talking about math and sharing strategies, which has proved to be helpful when planning with my 5th grade mathematics team.
I also enjoyed the topics courses the department provided because they provided students with the opportunity to connect math with everyday life. I was fortunate to take the course, Mathematics Education Seminar, which gave me a real world experience by providing me with the opportunity to work with a diverse group of elementary students. The course also provided me the opportunity to create several mathematics lessons that I could teach to my peers and receive feedback on. I am thankful for my time at St. Mike’s and especially thankful for the mathematics department’s dedicated faculty that demonstrate how thoughtful, caring, and dedicated educators should be!
Julia Bianconi 15
I am in my second year of teaching at Franklin Academy, a private boarding school in East Haddam, CT. Franklin Academy is a school for students 8-12 grade who have been diagnosed with autism or nonverbal learning disabilities. I get to teach four math classes at varying levels as well as several theater classes throughout the year. I am currently teaching Linear Functions, Functions and Modeling, Introduction to Algebraic Reasoning, and Basic Math Skills.
St. Michael's College prepared me in many ways for teaching Mathematics. I was able to learn about many different facets of math which I know use as background knowledge in my lessons, particularly for eager and excited students. This has also helped me work with students with varied math backgrounds, some of which are positive while other are not so much. Most importantly, St. Mike's encouraged me to become a lifelong learner through the passion of the professors and the supportive community.
Amber Emmell '15
I am in my fourth year as a mathematics teacher at Enosburg Falls Middle/High School working with 8th-12th grade students from Franklin County, Vermont. As part of the ninth grade team, I teach 4 sections of Algebra 1, as well as 1 section of middle school Algebra (for 8th graders), and 1 section of Algebra 2. I also have daily AT (advisory support/ enrichment) time where students can receive extra math help or work on individualized projects.
My Saint Michael’s mathematics education has helped prepare me for teaching by providing me with a strong mathematical foundation in the content I teach. Studying in the mathematics department at Saint Mike’s has provided me with several transferable skills such as problem solving, collaboration, and critical thinking that I hope to instill in my students, through my teaching. The professors I learned from during my time in the Saint Mike’s math department truly modeled and shared their passion for math, which has made me realize how important it is to bring my enthusiasm about math into the classroom. The math education seminar course I took at Saint Mike’s helped me to consider the unique challenges specific to teaching mathematics while receiving feedback from my professor and peers. My experiences at Saint Mike’s helped me to realize that teaching requires constant improvement and learning. I am excited this year to continue to be part of the Better Math Teaching Network Program, learning more about student-centered mathematics instruction. Please don’t hesitate to reach out with questions about teaching high school math.
Jessica George '14
I am in my second year of teaching math at Hartford High School in Hartford, VT, and I love it here! I have built amazing relationships with my colleagues and students. I currently teach Algebra 2, Advanced Algebra 2, and Applied Algebra. I have also just started taking courses towards my Masters in Curriculum and Instruction at Plymouth State University.
My Saint Michael's mathematics education helped prepare me for teaching by providing me with the strong mathematical background in the classes I teach. I am able to make connections to concepts we covered in History of Mathematics or Geometries, and I often draw on my own experiences in these courses to create engaging lessons in my classroom.
Maura O'Riordan '14
I am a second year mathematics teacher at Landmark High School in Beverly, Massachusetts. Landmark is a residential and day school for students with Language Based Learning Disabilities (LBLD), so much of my focus is trying to come up with interesting and insightful ways to teach my students using multiple modalities. Because it is a residential school, I also am a live-in staff member in one of the girls dorms on campus, as well as an assistant coach for the girls and boys cross country teams. I am currently enrolled at Simmons College for a Masters of Special Education in Moderate Special Needs.
My mathematics education at St. Mike's has benefited me as a teacher in many ways. Besides giving me the knowledge to teach all levels of mathematics as a high school teacher, the professors were models of dedicated teachers who care about their students. I use many practices that my professors did, such as using different colors on the board to highlight different important ideas, in my own classroom today. My education at St. Mike's has also prepared me for graduate classes, teaching me the work ethic and level of responsibility I need to excel in graduate school.
Amy Winter '14
I am currently teaching at Berkshire Elementary School in Berkshire, Vermont! I am a general education teacher in a second grade classroom. As my students know, math is one of my favorite subjects to teach! From working with place value and measurement, to problem solving and sharing our mathematical thinking, mathematics is woven throughout the day.
My math education at Saint Mike's has prepared me for my teaching experience by providing strong content knowledge and opportunities to share my mathematical thinking with others. Particularly this year in my classroom, we have a strong focus on sharing our thinking to learn new strategies to solve mental math and problem solving. The professors at Saint Mike's are strong models of math educators. I am always prepared to present new information in my classroom from several different viewpoints in order to reach all types of learners, as my professors did when I was at Saint Mike's.
Laura Backman '12
I am teaching at my alma mater, Wallkill Valley Regional High School in Hamburg, New Jersey. I am thoroughly enjoying working with all the teachers that instilled my love for math and am learning from them everyday! I have taught various classes over the years ranging from Algebra 1 to Pre-Calculus Honors. I am coaching girls soccer as well as ski team. I am continuing my education at Centenary College working towards a Masters in Special Education.
My St. Mike's math education has allowed me to have a deeper understanding of the concepts taught in high school. By taking a broad range of classes I was able to receive an in depth understanding of many concepts that I currently teach my students. The feedback I received from my professors and classmates in both my math and elementary education courses has been extremely useful when planning and implementing my lessons.
Marran Ranks '11
I am currently teaching high school mathematics at Salem High School in New Hampshire. I have been teaching mostly Algebra 2 and Honors Algebra 2. I also co-teach a math class with a special educator that focuses on arithmetic and practical uses of math in the world such as money. I have also had the opportunity to teach Pre-Calculus, Algebra 1, and Geometry Concepts. Salem has block scheduling so I see my students everyday for 90 minutes. I coach soccer in the fall and tennis in the spring.
St. Mike's helped me as a teacher, because I was able to take a wide selection of courses to broaden my understanding of mathematical concepts. Being able to take the Mathematics Education Seminar gave me the opportunity to teach lessons to my peers and receive specific feedback about my teaching. It was very helpful to hear different perspectives and ideas of how to become a better teacher.
Kayla Murdie '08
I am currently an 8th grade math teacher at Berlin Central School in Cherry Plain, NY and I love it! I had taught at the high school level and enjoyed that very much as well. Teaching is a wonderful thing. I also just recently completed my Master's Degree in Educational Psychology and perhaps will begin my Doctorate degree in administration as well.
My Saint Michael's education in mathematics helped me when I was teaching high school classes at a different school, but as for 8th grade I had to go back and re-learn some things. Saint Michael's did prepare me for tutoring other entry-level college students with their calculus work, as well as teaching students trigonometry in high school. However, what it really did was prepare me for my graduate work; I was fully prepared based on the education I received at Saint Michaels for the time and work one has to put into a graduate degree in order to excel.
Thomas Raymond '08
I teach at Gilford High School in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire. The students are great, and I work with some wonderful, collaborative colleagues.
In terms of higher education, I have a Master's degree from Southern New Hampshire University in educational leadership, which includes a K-12 principal's certificate. At some point in the future, I may transfer to the administrative world of education.
My Saint Michael's math education has helped me with my teaching career because it has given me the knowledge and confidence to be able to teach a wide range classes, from Algebra all the way to Calculus.
Sarah Hamilton '07
I am tenure-track faculty member in the Mathematics, Statistics, and Computer Science department at Marquette University in Milwuakee, WI. I have the pleasure of spending approximately half my time on research and the other half on teaching undergraduate and graduate (MS/PhD) students. My research centers on medical imaging (e.g, EIT, CT, MRI, ultrasound) using mathematics to develop new algorithms that provide improved pictures for doctors in realistic hospital settings.
Previously, I worked as a Postdoctoral Researcher with Dr. Samuli Siltanen at the Centre of Excellence in Inverse Problems Research, in the Department of Mathematics at the University of Helsinki. Before that, I completed my Ph.D. in Mathematics under the supervision of Dr. Jennifer L. Mueller at Colorado State University (CSU).
Upon leaving St. Mike's I knew my education had been great but I did not realize how wonderful my experience was until I began my graduate classes at CSU. I passed all of my qualifying exams (Real Analysis, Measure Theory, Complex Analysis, Linear Algebra, and Abstract Algebra) on the first attempt.
I am grateful for the fact that at Saint Michael's the professors (math especially) were very willing to meet with you outside of office hours and that the focus was on your education (not their individual research and publishing goals). I also appreciate the independent studies work that I did with Professor Kadas throughout my senior year, and her encouragement of my presenting at the Hudson River Undergraduate Mathematics Conference. As well, I value the opportunity I had to pursue a summer research project with Professor Ellis-Monaghan and Professor Pangborn. Learning how to use LaTeX then has proved extremely beneficial in my graduate studies.
I strongly feel that my liberal arts education at SMC has allowed me to excel in networking and communication in my post-undergraduate mathematics career. Being able to do great math is wonderful, but being able to do great math and communicate it effectively is rare. SMC prepares students for both.
Nick Mack '07
After graduating from SMC with degrees in Mathematics and Elementary Education, I was hired as a Math Interventionist at H.O. Wheeler in Burlington where I focused on building math skills of K-5 students. During this time, I was awarded a grant from the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics for my paper "Kindergarten Calculus," which demonstrated how basic principles of calculus can be taught to K-2 learners. Teaching math became a smaller (but still exciting!) fraction my job when I became a 2nd Grade teacher as the school transformed into the Integrated Arts Academy.
In 2011, I earned my Masters of Education through UVM's Vermont Math Initiative, a program for leadership in elementary school mathematics. VMI had a profound impact on my teaching, helping me be more reflective and look for deep connections among areas of mathematics. It also helped me be a leader in raising the math standards, expectations, and proficiency at my current school.
I recently moved to teaching 4th Grade at J.J. Flynn Elementary in Burlington, a school with a STEM focus. Last year, I was named a Vermont IGNITED Educator, an award presented to teachers who excel at bringing technology into the classroom. I have enjoyed bringing a science and math-oriented approach to all classroom topics, from reading to art to technology.
While I have taught in both art-focused and STEM-focused schools, one thing has remained true: the liberal arts education I received at SMC has proven to be an asset in my communication with other professionals, researching, grant writing, and more.
Jamie (Brigante) Mulcahy '07
I graduated from Saint Michael’s College with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics and a licensure in Secondary Education. After graduation I taught 8th grade math for one year at Mount Abraham Union Middle/High School. I had a fabulous first year of teaching working with an awesome team of teachers, however, I decided to move to the seacoast area of New Hampshire the following year. I was lucky to be hired at Oyster River High School in Durham. I have been a high school mathematics teacher at this school now for eight years and I enjoyed being the JV field hockey coach during my first year at the school. While teaching in NH, I completed my Master’s of Education degree in Counseling at the University of New Hampshire in 2012.
Although I love New Hampshire, I am relocating this summer back to Vermont. I have accepted a high school math teaching position at my alma mater, Colchester High School, starting in the fall of 2016. Not only am I excited to start a new teaching job in my hometown, I am also very excited to be closer to my large family in Vermont.
I attribute many of my successes in my career and life to my experiences at Saint Michael’s College. First of all, my education prepared me to teach a wide variety of classes at the high school level. I have always been confident teaching the mathematical content in my courses and encouraging in-depth mathematical thinking in my classroom. I especially value the small class sizes and availability of my professors outside of the classroom during college. The relationships that I developed with my professors and the experiences that I had throughout my time at Saint Michael’s definitely helped to instill a deep love of learning in me. It is now my goal as a high school teacher to teach mathematics, but also to instill this love of learning in my students.
Theresa Ryan '07
I continue to teach at Lawrence Academy in Groton, MA. It is a private, co-ed, boarding school and I absolutely love it. I teach such courses as Math 1, Math 2, Math 3, and Math 4 as well as honors versions of these courses, that cover Algebra I and II topics, geometry, and pre-calculus. Aside from my teaching duties, I am a dorm parent and coach. I am the assistant Girl's Varsity Soccer coach and the Head Softball coach.
Other than my professional duties, Lawrence Academy strongly encourages and supports professional development and has many different committees for faculty to be a part of. I have taken advantage of these opportunities whenever I can. This year I will be a mentor for new faculty members.
I recently earned my MAT degree with a focus in secondary mathematics education and my New York State teaching license from Union Graduate College in Schenectady, NY. I also was recognized with a Presidential Leadership Award for my work with the College during my graduate work.
Saint Michael's really helped my confidence level as I moved into the real world. My mathematics professors showed true dedication and helped me pursue my goals every step of the way. I would not be where I am today without the support and guidance I found at Saint Michael's and I am truly appreciative of all I gained during my time there.
Tate Shippen '07
I am a full time high school math teacher at Hamilton Wenham High, located in Hamilton, MA and am currently finishing up my ninth year there. Over the past nine years, I've taught everything from Algebra to Calculus, including two years where I also taught a block of Pre-Algebra in our middle school in addition to my high school courses. Most recently, I've taken over the AP Statistics program at our school and I am looking forward to having three sections of AP Stats next year with two sections of Geometry Honors. I also currently coach the ultimate frisbee team, as well as the high school and middle school math teams. I've been heavily involved with bringing technology into our school classrooms, leading professional development seminars on various ways I use technology in my classroom. Last year I was awarded a $25,000 grant through a local group called the Ed-Fund to create a 3D Printer Lab at our school, which has been very exciting as I've been incorporating it into cross-curricular projects for my Geometry Class and our Mod-Tech classes!
I attribute many of the extra things that I can bring into my classroom to the excellent education that I received from the Math Department from St. Michael's. Not only did my professors model excellent teaching in the classroom, they also provided me with the mathematical education I needed to excel at my job. For instance, in my Geometry class when I teach inductive reasoning and patterns, I've been able to go beyond the curriculum and include topics such as the Triangular Numbers thanks to what I learned Dr. Ellis-Monaghan's Number Theory class. I've been able to add historical context in my lessons thanks to many of the things I learned in my History of Mathematics course taught by Dr. Ashline (I still even reference our book from that class!). When teaching logic statements, I've brought computer programing into my classroom that I learned from my Computer Science course at SMC. The instruction I received from the math department at St. Mike's provided me with the wide breadth of mathematical knowledge that enabled me to be the teacher I am today.
My experience at St. Mike's has even helped me go beyond the classroom - thanks to the experience I gained from responding to emergencies while I was on St. Michael's Fire & Rescue, I've been chosen to chaperone our school's biannual trip to Peru and Machu Picchu four times! I love my job, and I've got St. Mike's to thank for a lot of my success!
Wayne Younghans '07
I am a special education/math teacher at Aspira Business and Finance High School, a charter school on Chicago's northwest side. I teach Algebra 1 and Algebra 2 to special education students in a self-contained setting, and I co-teach Algebra 2/Trig and Physics. As a special education teacher, I also have a caseload of 22 students ranging from 9th through 12th grade.
Aspira began as an organization that targeted Puerto Rican youth and offered after school programming and resources, but evolved into a full-fledged charter school network, now with schools in metropolitan areas throughout the country. Aspira of Illinois consists of 4 schools, one middle school, two high schools, and an alternative high school, all on the northwest side of Chicago. At the high school where I work (Aspira Business and Finance), we serve about 600 9th-12th graders, 91% of whom are hispanic, and 96% are considered low-income. We also have about 18% special education students and over 25% English Language Learners. Our school is focused on first generation high school students, many of whom are immigrants to this country from South and Central America. We pride ourselves on opening our doors to any and all students in the area that desire a safe school where they can transform their future and the futures of their families.
I first moved to Chicago in the summer of 2011 as a 2011 Teach for America corps member. Through TFA, I worked as an integrated mathematics instructor at Youth Connection Leadership Academy, an alternative charter high school on the city's south side. While there for 6 years, I was given many different roles and responsibilities, such as the Union President and head our math team. I found working in an alternative school to be incredibly challenging while equally rewarding at times. In hindsight, I am in awe of how much I learned from that experience.
Prior to coming to Chicago, I was a math teacher at Colchester High School for 3 years, and I taught algebra to 8th graders at Williston Central School the year before that.
My experience at Saint Michael's College was integral to my own personal development as a student and leader, and the math department was a very big part of that experience. The most important thing I learned at St. Mike's that I still use on a daily basis is the ability to build strong relationships and work well with others in pursuit of a goal. I do this with my colleagues and my students, and there is no way I would be where I am today without that knowledge.
I also gained a very strong foundation in mathematics through the department at St. Mike's. This has been crucial in my ability to plan curriculum on a long term and daily basis.
Lastly, I think about specific classes at St. Mike's that combined my love of math and teaching. Two that stand out are the Mathematics Education Seminar and the History of Math class. They put a spark in my own learning that I often think about when envisioning how I want my students to feel in my classroom.
Diana Coulter '06
This is my third year at Clarkstown South High School in West Nyack, New York. I received tenure which I was very excited about. I also received a grant for "Math Bingo" which is a game I implement in my classroom in order to help students review material in a more fun and exciting way.
I am currently attending St. Thomas Aquinas College getting my master's in special education. I have a year left before I complete the program.
I think that the most important thing I learned from the math department at St. Mike's was the willingness of the professors to help students at any time. I think that many math professors at St. Mike's have a open-door policy. Although every professor has specific office hours I could get help at any time of any day as long as I asked for help. I carried this into my teaching career and I try to be as available to my students as often as possible because I think that fostering relationships with students is a major key to academic success.
Ben Epstein '05
I have been a math teacher at Champlain Valley Union High School in Hinesburg, VT since 2008-2009. I have taught a variety of courses, but currently teach Algebra II and non-AP Calculus.
I was very fortunate to attend Saint Michael's. I believe because of the small class sizes and close relationships with faculty that the quality of instruction I received was excellent. As a result, the material I learned, I learned well, and I feel very comfortable in turn teaching those concepts to others.
Whitney Sherman '04
I am a mathematics teacher at a small public high school in Connecticut, and I am one of the four mathematics teachers there. I am passing on my knowledge and my excitement about mathematics to my students as well as helping to coach the girl’s soccer team.
After graduating from Saint Michael's and traveling cross country for 80 days, I started graduate school in Connecticut to obtain my Master's in Secondary Mathematics Education and CT Teaching Certification. My Praxis II exam focused on mathematics.
My Saint Michael's mathematics education helped me earn a score of excellence within the top 15 percent of all test takers. Saint Michael's did not only provide me with mathematical skills but with a passion for mathematics that I am thrilled to be able to share with my own students. In closing, I know that Saint Michael's College was a perfect fit for me and provided me with everything I needed to step confidently into the "real" work world.
Heather Rubenstein '03
I am currently in my fifth year as a math teacher at Woodstock Union High School in Woodstock, Vermont. To date I have taught, Pre-Algebra, Algebra I, Intermediate Algebra, Algebra II, Geometry and Math for Life. I have a wonderful job due to the students I teach. The best part of my job is getting students who hate math and sending them into the summer loving math. It is my goal to do that with every student.
I have been coaching the varsity softball team for four years and middle school field hockey for three years. I have been the treasurer for our local teacher's union for three years. I am currently a co-advisor to class of 2011 at Woodstock Union High School. I am the co-director of a local teen center that operates every Friday and Saturday night.
I was awarded the 2008 UVM Outstanding Teacher Award given to teacher's in every district in Vermont. I also received an award from the Vermont Council of Teachers of Mathematics for excellence in teaching math. I am almost done with a Master's of Science in Educational Administration from the University of Scranton.
I got my love of mathematics from my professors at St. Mike's. They were inspirational in how they loved math. It was apparent in every class and the amount of time they put into students outside of class. I am a better teacher because I had such great models at St. Mike's. The math program at St. Mike's gave me an in-depth look into math that I thought I would never use because the highest math level at Woodstock Union High School is Calculus. But I am amazed over and over again at the theory and specific explanation I can give my students because I had such a good math education at St. Mike's. I love explaining to my students that there is another type of geometry where parallel lines don't exist and we have a good class discussion about everything involved and how that would change the way we see the world. It is also great to explain to my students topics like the Fundamental Theorem of Algebra and a bunch of other theorems and other postulates that allow my students to dive deeper into math.
Becky (Gates) Zumbach '02
I taught at Kennett HS in Conway, NH for 4 years and then Bedford HS in Bedford, NH for three years. I left Kennett for the wonderful opportunity to open a new high school in Bedford. It was an incredible experience and I loved it there. I left Bedford for my job at Gilford High School when I met my husband. I've been in Gilford for 5 years and teach mostly Geometry classes, which I really enjoy. I have also been the varsity girls' soccer coach for the past 4 years.
Since graduating from Saint Michael's, I have earned my Master of Science for Teachers in Mathematics from UNH in 2008. It was challenging but a great experience. My background at Saint Michael's prepared me very well for this program. For the past several years, I've been working on my CAGS in Educational Leadership from Plymouth State University. My concentration is in Athletic Administration, and I plan to graduate in May 2015.
My Saint Michael's education prepared me very well to teach math and also to be a graduate student in the field of mathematics. From a teacher's perspective, when I think about my experience at Saint Michael's, I realize again and again just how dedicated, professional, and knowledgeable the Saint Michael's professors are.
Julie Harutunian '02
I am a mathematics teacher at Reading Memorial High School in Reading, MA. I originally worked at Putnam Investments for a year as a portfolio accounting analyst, before I changed paths and went into teaching. It was a great decision for me and I couldn’t be happier in the school in which I am working.
In order to teach in MA, I had to get my master's in education. It wasn't a problem at all to start taking education classes after graduation. Now, I am pursuing a second master's program in mathematics.
I couldn't have been more prepared than I was leaving college. Besides what I learned in the classroom, I learned how to study, work independently and with other students. One of the things I liked best about our department was the small size. I became comfortable speaking with each of my professors and benefited greatly from everyone’s help.
In college, I worked several nights a week at the Help Sessions and I also did grading for a couple of semesters. These jobs gave me some experience with instruction before going into teaching. I learned early on the amount of patience teaching would entail.
Eric Langevin '02
I am currently in my 14th year as a math teacher at Essex High School in Essex, VT. I graduated from Saint Michael's College with a B.S. in math and a concentration in secondary education. I graduated from the University of Vermont in 2007 with a Master's in Education focusing on curriculum and instruction. At Essex High School I am also the varsity cross country coach, an adviser for our Athletic Leadership Council, and a member of our retirement party committee. I have taken the lead on transforming several of our core courses to common core standards, mostly Geometry and Algebra 1. Next year, I will be working on transforming our Pre-Calculus course, adding in vectors and matrices.
I feel lucky as I am surrounded here at Essex High School with many other graduates from St. Michaels. While several of us knew of each other during college, we have formed solid bonds since. The small size of St. Michael's attributed to this and I am very thankful for that. At home, I am a proud father of 2 boys. Active like myself, they keep me moving all of the time.
My math education at Saint Michael's prepared me for teaching math more than I thought it would. Knowing higher level math and theory allows me to be a better teacher. I am able to explain topics to students better and understand how concepts work. The math professors are excellent people and educators. I learned from them how to teach with passion.
Patty Fogarty Clemons '01
I tutor high school students in math as a stay-at-home mother. I previously taught regular math and AP math courses at South Burlington High School. I intend to return to full-time teaching when my children are of school age.
Saint Michael's was a great school for me to go to because it helped me to grow mathematically. Going to Saint Michael's also opened the door to graduate school at the University of Vermont where I earned my master's degree in math. The math program at Saint Michael's strengthened my math skills and gave me all the knowledge I would need to teach. It also showed me how to work with other people and how to work with teachers. The teachers were there for me all the time so I strive to do the same thing for my students.
Jennifer Hartell Christiansen '00
I am currently a 7th grade mathematics teacher at Winman Junior High School in Warwick, Rhode Island. I have taught Pre-Algebra, Algebra 1 and Algebra 2. I am also graduate school at Providence College where I am studying to become a school guidance counselor.
My mathematics education from Saint Michael's has provided me with a very strong mathematical foundation. I do not necessarily use the higher level mathematics in my teaching, but it has strengthened my understanding of the subject matter that I do teach and therefore makes it easier for me to teach my students. My mathematics education has also been helpful in discussing concepts and ideas with some of my colleagues. Saint Michael's has a very good reputation and often times helped me stand out when applying or interviewing for jobs when being compared to other applicants from larger colleges and universities.
Kim (Couture) Audette '96
I graduated from St. Michael’s College with a degree in Mathematics and a licensure in Secondary Education. This preparation launched me quickly into what has now been a 20+ year career. I have taught middle school mathematics in Shelburne, VT; taught high school International Baccalaureate mathematics and computer science in both Leysin, Switzerland and Warsaw, Poland; taught high school mathematics and the STEM Academy Leader at Essex High School in Essex, VT; been a district teacher leader as the K-12 Mathematics Coach and Coordinator for South Burlington School District, VT, and most recently, have begun my career as school district administrator, as the Director of Learning: Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment, in Addison Northwest School District in VT. While teaching in Poland I completed a Master’s in International Education, and have completed all coursework and obtained my administrator and curriculum director licensures for the state of VT.
My experiences at St. Michael’s have been a formative part of who I am both as an educator and as a person. Fr. Michael Cronogue celebrated my wedding in October of 2007, and baptized three of my four children in the years since. We frequent mass at St. Michael’s as a family, as the community there is one that we all continue to want to be a part of. I also know that the education and support that I received through the mathematics department is an essential element of why I have chosen the career path that I have. I still aspire to achieve more within the realm of mathematics education, and I know that my passion for learning is largely due to my experiences at St. Mike’s. I am proud and thankful alumna of St. Michael’s College.
Lisa Keller '93
I am an Assistant Professor in the Research and Evaluation Methods Program in the School of Education at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Before this, I taught math in grades 7-12 for four years. I went back to graduate school and received a doctorate in psychometric methods and a master's degree in mathematics and statistics. Then, I got a job at the University of Massachusetts, in which I teach statistics to social scientists and pursue research in psychometrics. My primary research focus is applying mathematical models to response data from large-scale assessments.
I love my job, and I know that my education at Saint Michael's College helped me attain my goals. The small classes and availability of professors encouraged me to deepen my mathematical skills and to give me the confidence necessary to pursue doctoral level study.
Gina Fabiano Mathews '91
I am the Assistant Principal/Academic Dean at Archbishop Williams High School, Braintree, MA. Prior to my work at Archbishop Williams, I worked at Notre Dame Academy, Hingham, MA for 20 years in various capacities. I was a math teacher, coach, math department chair, and interim principal.
I completed an MAT from Emanuel College in Boston and a CAGS (Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study) in Education Leadership from Bridgewater State University. On May 15, 2016, I graduated from Walden University with my Ph.D. in Education. My specialization is Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment. My dissertation, "The Licensing, Preparation, and Role of High School Department Chairs," is available on ProQuest.
At Saint Michael's, the caring professors of both the math and education departments solidified my decision to pursue a career in education.
Jon Matte '91
I am Chair of the Mathematics Department at Greens Farms Academy, a K-12, independent day school in Connecticut. After graduating as Valedictorian from Saint Michael's, I completed a master's degree in mathematics from S.U.N.Y. Buffalo and was a full-time mathematics instructor at Sacred Heart University. Since then, I have been a mathematics teacher and department chair at GFA. I have presented at numerous conferences in such pedagogical areas as magic and card/number-based tricks. My other passion is lateral-thinking "Puzzle Hunts" (like the MIT Mystery Hunt).
When looking back at my time at Saint Michael's, I realize that it was mostly the interaction with the faculty and students that helped me confirm that I wanted to teach. Overall, I received a good mindset to troubleshoot, remain calm, and think things through. My advice to those seeking a career with a mathematics degree is: Find some corner of the math world, and explore and be passionate about at least that one thing.
See Jon's profile on the Mathematics Association of America Web site.