Our Math & Science department is growing! Department chair Heather Quintero is working hard to bring exciting options to our families.
News from the Classroom
We are once again able to offer a Statistics elective this spring for high school students. Mrs. Quintero is bringing the Dolciani curriculum back into the classroom (read more about Mary Dolciani and her math curriculum by clicking here), and is writing WTMA’s own math curriculum using that method of instruction. This year we are offering Dolciani Pre-Algebra. The plan is to offer subsequent levels as follows:
- 2023-2024: Pre-Algebra, Algebra I
- 2024-2025: Pre-Algebra, Algebra I, Algebra II, Geometry
- 2025-2026: Pre-Algebra, Algebra I, Algebra II, Geometry, Pre-Calculus
Math Club Updates
Our math club members have been busy! Both groups held club elections during September and set goals for the semester. The middle school club is creating two video entries for the Math Video Challenge. Students are busy brainstorming and storyboarding ideas for their videos.
Our high school club hosted an end-of-quarter party for the middle school club last week and they will compete in their first Math League competition later this month. Good luck!
Welcome New STEM Teachers!
In other news a shake up in staffing just a few weeks into the school year gave our administration the opportunity to show families just how hard we work to keep learning consistent. Despite the added pressure of the school year having already started, our rigorous interview process allowed us to hire two new highly qualified math teachers in record time to keep classes going strong. We are so proud of how these new teachers jumped in head first to take care of our students.
Here’s a snapshot of the excellent new additions to our Math & Science department. You can always check out any instructor’s bio on our website.
Ms. Clayton has been teaching math at the high school and college level for over thirty years. She is one of our most experienced instructors! She has a BS in Mathematics and a MEd in Administration. Ms. Clayton knows how to teach students as well as other teachers. Ms. Clayton says that “as a teacher, I work hard to meet students where they are. I do this by analyzing where they’re comfortable and where they need additional support to be successful. I then adapt my instruction and feedback to the student.” Her approach has worked in and out of the classroom. When she isn’t working, she likes to visit with her three daughters, all of whom have gone into STEM-based careers, from engineering to medical school.
Ms. Elizondo, who has a BS and MS in Mathematics Science and a MEd in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in Mathematics Education, is teaching a wide range of math classes this year: AoPS Algebra II, Saxon Algebra II, AoPS Pre-Calculus, and Introduction to Statistics. We are lucky to have such versatile instructors! Case in point: Ms. Elizondo believed she was going to become an engineer until she was asked by a former teacher to lead a class. She hasn’t wanted to leave the classroom since. On what it’s like to be in her classroom, Ms. Elizondo says “My main objectives as an instructor are to maintain a learner-centered environment that accommodates the different needs of the students; allow for mathematical skills to be developed; and encourage students to take ownership of their education.”
Dr. Furtado taught chemistry and math at the University of Puget Sound, Barton Community College, and Pikes Peak State College before coming to WTMA. She has her BE from the University of Delaware and her PhD from Vanderbilt University. Dr. Furtado has done extensive research on proteins and their structures as well as absorbent materials to be used for air filtration. She says “My diverse research experience proves that there is much you can do with a STEM degree. I love getting my students excited about science and math and the applications of these subjects in the real world. With every class I teach, my goal is to show students how their education can be used to help them make the world a better place.” Students in Dr. Furtado’s classes–Chemistry for the Logic Stage class and Advanced Calculus AB–are sure to benefit from her great perspective.
Mrs. Houle (AoPS Algebra II; Advanced Calculus AB) comes to us with 20 years of experience teaching math and science. She has a BS in atmospheric science from Arizona State University, an MFA in Creative Writing from ASU, and a diploma in botanical painting from the Society of Botanical Artists in London. On her teaching style, Mrs. Houle says, “My goal is to be a guide for students venturing into higher levels of thinking. I strive to provide clear explanations and answers to students’ questions. I provide students the freedom and independence to experience success and learn from their mistakes. I consider it part of my job as their teacher to model a love of learning and I truly enjoy seeing my students gain the confidence that comes with true understanding.” Mrs. Houle is sure to use her broad educational background to share the wonder of STEM with all of her students.