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The Center for Recruitment and Retention of Mathematics Teachers (CRR) was founded by Dr. Fred Stevenson in 2001 to support Tucson area secondary mathematics teachers. Sue Adams and Ann Modica, two outstanding former high school mathematics teachers and leaders in Tucson area mathematics education, were recruited to be the co-directors.
The Center offered two programs:
- A Tutoring in the Schools class to train and hire undergraduate University of Arizona students to use effective tutoring skills as they worked with classroom students. Due to the experience, some of these tutors decided to switch their current major to enter the Secondary Mathematics Education Program (SMEP) or the Teach Arizona program to become mathematics teachers
- A New Teacher Induction Program which paired new teachers with a supportive coach for a year. These new teachers also attend a monthly workshop designed to deepen their mathematical understandings and provide pedagogical training to develop effective classroom procedures and strategies.
Funding for the Center came from school district partnerships, private donations, and a National Science Foundation grant.
TIn 2005, CRR hosted the first Mathematics Educator Appreciation Day Conference (MEAD). The MEAD Conference has grown to become the largest K-16 mathematics teacher conference in the state of Arizona.
In 2008, CRR began hosting teacher workshops. Secondary mathematics content workshops were designed to deepen understandings and to incorporate technology into lessons. Five 3 or 4-session workshops were offered on weeknights throughout the year.
Also in 2008, the Herbst Foundation provided an endowment to provide funding for two Saturday workshops per year. The Herbst Enrichment Mathematics Seminars (HEMS) are taught by exemplary classroom teachers who present meaningful content and model excellent teaching strategies. Stipends are paid to the teachers who attend. Currently the Herbst endowment funds five HEMS workshops each year. We are very grateful for the continued guidance and support from Lee and Arthur Herbst.
In April of 2009, the first Advanced Placement Calculus Practice Exams were hosted. Both Calculus AB and BC Exams are given so that students gain experience with the types of questions asked and learn how the College Board exams are scored. In 2014, an AP Statistics Practice Exam was added to the event. Many thanks to Bruce MacMillan, Chris Yetman, and Josh Tabor for leading this effort.
In 2012, in addition to workshops for secondary mathematics teachers, workshops were hosted for teachers in grades K through 6 to build understanding of fractions, algebra, and geometry.
In 2016, the Thomas R. Brown Foundations provided a grant to fund the IMPACTS Program. Teachers in grades K through 5 are provided with experiences to deepen mathematical understandings and rich classroom tasks which help students understand topics conceptually as they develop fluent skills.
In 2017, the CRR received funding to expand, revise, and improve the Tutor Scholar Program to focus on making the greatest impact possible through mathematics mentoring. The Student Thinking Enrichment through Mathematics Mentors (STEMM) came from those efforts. STEMM is an AmeriCorps program, supporting schools across the Tucson area with high quality mathematics mentors and tutors (U of A students) in order to affect the greatest impact on youth. STEMM also engages the teachers in the New Teacher Induction Program as math mentors for three of their high-need students, providing a more in-tensive level of support for those students. The New Teacher Induction teachers also receive targeted biweekly mentoring from their Induction Coaches.
In 2018, the Thomas R. Brown Foundations provided another grant to fund an expansion of the IMPACTS program to middle school. The IMPACTS-MS Program provides teachers in grades in 6 through 8 with experiences to further develop their content knowledge and pedagogical skills to help students develop the critical foundations for algebra.
Meet the Co-Directors:
Dr. Rodrigo Jorge Gutiérrez taught middle and high school mathematics before becoming a teacher educator. His professional interests lie at the intersection of teacher development, mathematics education, and teaching for social justice, paying particular attention to Latinx and emergent bilinguals. Previously, Rodrigo was a fellow with the Center for the Mathematics Education of Latinas/os (CEMELA) at the University of Arizona, where he examined the implementation of Critical Mathematics in an urban high school’s precalculus course. He comes to CRR after six years as a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Center for Mathematics Education at the University of Maryland, where his focus was on professional development to improve mathematics instruction for English learners (ELLs).
Melissa Hosten taught elementary, middle, and high school mathematics both in Tucson and Chandler. She has worked in education for more than 20 years, serving as Mathematics Department Chair, District Mathematics Specialist, and Grant Director. She supported the revision of the state standards in 2008 as a Mathematics Specialist for the Arizona Department of Education, and as a committee member for the revision of the standards in 2016. Melissa has supported teacher professional learning through her work at the Maricopa County Education Service Agency. She is a current or former governing board member of Arizona Math Leaders, Arizona Association of Teachers of Mathematics, Women and Mathematics Education, and Joint Committee for Women in Mathematical Sciences.
Meet the Program Coordinator:
Michael Perkins is the Program Coordinator for the Center for Recruitment and Retention of Mathematics Teachers. He is a University of Arizona graduate and then earned a Masters Degree in Teaching and Teacher Education. He was a classroom teacher at the elementary school, the junior high, and the high school and was also a Mathematics Specialist for a School District. Michael is also a head coach for a local High School Women's Basketball program. When not at work, Michael and his wife are playing games and completing puzzles with their two boys.