Teacher Researchers

Amy Bowden – My name is Amy Bowden and I am a high school math teacher in Baltimore, MD. I have been teaching high school math for 3 years and am currently pursuing my MAT. I was lucky enough to participate in CPM’s Academy of Best Practices in 2018 and currently serve as a teacher researcher through CPM’s Teacher Research Corps. I have an eccentric teaching style that involves a great deal of humor, collaboration, inquiry and discussion. I have a passion for mathematics and am determined to make math achievable for all learners. I am looking forward to my team’s research on questioning and mathematical discourse this school year! 

Angela Kraft  – My name is Angela Kraft and I’m an Instructional Specialist and Math Coach in Oconomowoc, WI.  I have been teaching middle school math for 15 years. My passion as a math educator is to help students grow a love for learning and solve problems to help prepare students for the world beyond high school and college. My personal pedagogy involves collaboration among peers and allowing students to tackle problems through discovery rather than direct instruction. This type of teaching allows students to learn from one another, learn to ask questions, justify their thinking, and learn to work in a team. Through this type of math education, hopefully, in a few years, we will hear fewer adults say, “I am not a math person.”

Brooke Raven-Sandberg – I have been teaching high school math in Fortuna, CA for the last 9 years. I am currently teaching Algebra 2 and Geometry using the CPM curriculum. I enjoy the challenge of getting students to work together as they develop their math skills. This is my fourth year as a TRC member and I am grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with other teachers around the country to make our classrooms more engaging.

Carrie Velasco – My name is Carrie Velasco and I have been teaching high school mathematics for 9 years. I started my teaching career in Southern California and now teach in Colorado. I have been using CPM for 6 years. I was lucky enough to be able to participate in the Academy of Best Practices for Veteran CPM teachers last summer in 2018 and this will be my first year participating in the TRC. I have a passion for teaching mathematics for understanding and for helping students develop a growth mindset in mathematics.

Cathy Sinnen – I am Cathy Sinnen and I live in Mckinleyville, California. I have been teaching middle school math and CPM for twentyfive years and still find it exciting and challenging. I have been a TRC member and researcher for four years. I have had the opportunity to work with four great TRC teams and investigate goal setting, feedback and whole class discourse.

Erin Treu

Erin Treu – My name is Erin Treu and this is my 10th year teaching high school math to students in the Midwest. I started my career in Central Indiana but soon moved to Northeast Ohio. I have been using CPM since 2014. This is my third time participating in TRC.  I have found that this process has taught me more about myself than I ever thought and I love continuing to learn about my teaching practice and how to help my students.

Jamie Kaper – My name is Jamie Kaper. I have been teaching for two years at Sonoma Valley High in Sonoma California and I teach CC Algebra for Freshmen. Last summer I participated in the Academy of Best Practices with CPM which was so inspirational and helped me to start off my second year of teaching with new ideas and more confidence to try new things in my classroom. I am very excited to be a part of this years TRC program and hope to learn a lot about myself, my teaching style, and mostly about my kids and how they best learn.

Jennifer McCalla – I have been teaching math for over 20 years at a first-ring suburb high school in Cleveland, OH. Our district is considered urban based on our population of students. Currently I am teaching Algebra 1, Algebra 2, and AP Calculus (AB) and for the past 6 years have used the CPM curriculum. I’ve been a teacher researcher for 3 years and a CPM Teacher Leader for the last 5 years. My goal with my students and their parents is to ensure that they have positive experiences in my classroom that help them see that, with perseverance, ongoing communication, and a growth mindset, anyone can be a “math person”.

Karen Kurcz – I am Karen Kurcz and I teach at Chelsea High School in Chelsea, Michigan. I have been teaching high school math for over 26 years, and this is my third year with CPM. I feel that bringing CPM and my TRC research into my classroom has made me a far better teacher and has made my students even better learners!  Through the years, my husband, Mike, and my four beautiful, grown children have been my greatest gifts and support.

Kathryn Hayes – I am Katie Hayes, and I am in my 7th year of teaching! I’ve taught CPM for 4 years, and this is my first year in TRC. My research team is focused on investigating the impact of feedback on the student.

Laura Bell I have been teaching middle school for 13 years. I spent 7 of those years teaching predominantly social studies before switching to teaching 8th grade math and algebra using the CPM Curriculum. This year I took a new job teaching 6th and 7th grade math using the CPM Curriculum. The opportunity to teach CC1 through CCA has given me a perspective of the connections that the CPM curriculum provides. I am in my 3rd year as a CPM TRC researcher. This has given me the opportunity to collaborate with math educators all over the country, allowing me to improve my teaching and classroom. Aside from teaching, I am a wife, mother to 3 beautiful children, runner, hobby photographer and wannabe traveler! Ask me how to create an environment of self-assessment in your classroom!

Matt Rector – I’m Matt Rector.  I’ve been a teacher for 28 years.  I currently teach Integrated Mathematics 2 and 3 at Grant High School in Sacramento, California.  My research targets increasing the effectiveness and productivity of study teams using gamification.  

Megan Kean – My name is Megan Kean and I have taught 12 years at Nature Hill Intermediate School in Oconomowoc Wisconsin.  I have had the opportunity to be a Math Coach with CPM and speak at the National Conference. I have been a part of TRC for two years.  I have investigated Number Talks and How to Increase equity and access with the curriculum.  I am looking forward to working another year with TRC with researching how to make math more accessible for all of the learners in our classrooms. I have a passion for helping all students and developing their love for learning!

Mollie Siegel – Mollie Siegel is a Nationally Board Certified secondary mathematics teacher in Louisville, KY.  She earned her Bachelor’s of Science in Mathematics from Bellarmine University in 2012 and Master’s of Education from Western Kentucky University in 2013 with an endorsement for English as a Second Language from the University of Louisville in 2015. She has taught CPM curriculum since her pre-service year in 2012 as a Graduate Resident Intern of the GSKyTEACH program and participated in the CPM Academy of Best Practices in 2016. This is her eighth year teaching in public education and her fourth year as a CPM Teacher Researcher.

Pamela Propst – I have been teaching middle school math for the last five years in Mississippi. I am currently teaching and have taught 7th grade math for the last four years using CPM curriculum. One of my favorite parts of teaching middle school math is that I like to  encourage my students into becoming mathematical thinkers as they develop their math skills and working together with other students within the classroom. This will be my first year as a TRC member and I am looking forward to the opportunity to work with other teachers to gain more insights on encouraging students to have a growth mindset.

Penny Smits – Penny is an eighth grade teacher at De Pere Middle School in De Pere, WI.  She has been working with the TRC since its beginning, five years ago and is currently piloting CPM’s CC3 Inspirations and Ideas intervention course. This is her twenty-fourth year of teaching and she continues to love teaching middle school!

Peter Trapp – I teach mostly math at Nature Hill Intermediate School in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin.  My family includes my wife Kalinda and my daughters Ava, Eliana, and Lila. My hobbies include playing with my kids and doing activities as a family.  I started teaching in 2007.

Sarah Shon – My name is Sarah Shon, and I’m a high school math teacher at New Albany High School in New Albany, Ohio.  I’ve been teaching all levels of high school math—Algebra through Calculus—for 15 years. Motivating students to ignite passion and confidence in themselves and their mathematics work has always been my primary goal as an educator.  CPM has transformed my students into brave leaders and team innovators who are unafraid to dive into intricate problems and persevere through any situation. As both a TRC Researcher and a Teacher Leader, I am thrilled to share my passion for powerful, lasting, exciting math education with math teachers around the country.

Simon Terrell – Simon Terrell is a native of Sonoma County, Ca and is in his 14th year of teaching middle school mathematics and 8th year of teaching CPM.  Simon is interested in the Japanese methods of teaching math which have a focus on teaching through problem solving and classroom discourse.  He also is striving to learn how to better serve all of his students through learning about equity and complex instruction.

Sophia Quiroz – My name is Sophia Quiroz, and I am a sixth grade math and science teacher in Los Angeles, CA.  I graduated from Boston University with a BA in Psychology in 2015, then received my elementary teaching credential and M.Ed from UCLA’s Teacher Education Program in 2017.  I attended CPM’s Academy of Best Practices in 2019 and am in my first year with TRC.  I’ve been teaching for four years – two years as a fourth grade teacher and two as a sixth grade teacher.  My elementary background gives me the opportunity to understand broad content connections and the ways in which students’ math identities and conceptions develop over time.    I always tell my students that I became a teacher because I want to grow better adults.  To that end, this year I’ll be exploring with my team how students as mathematicians understand their roles as agents of social change, working to incorporate explicitly contextualized and relevant problem-solving tasks in my CPM classroom.

Tatiyana Webb – Tatiyana earned her bachelors’ in Biological Sciences from the University of California, Irvine and a Masters’ degree in Public Administration from The University of Georgia and a 2nd Masters’ in Educational Leadership from Columbia University. Tatiyana has worked in youth development for over a decade. Tatiyana ran a girl empowerment nonprofit called Young Ladies With Potential. She served as Corps Member and Team Leader at a preschool through Jumpstart- Ameri Corps.  She developed and managed a tutoring program with the local middle school in Athens, GA. Tatiyana helped lead the development of a Promise Neighborhood grant, which strived to create services from cradle to career for youth ages 0 – 24. Tatiyana also served as the Program Coordinator of a 4-week collegiate residential STEM program for high school students at UCI called California State Summer School for Mathematics and Science (COSMOS). After joining Teach for America-Memphis, Tatiyana has taught 6-8th-grade math for six years. As a Leading Educator Fellow, Tatiyana served on the Leadership team, coaching other math teachers and developing school culture systems.  Tatiyana was named Educator of the Week by WREG News Channel 3 and TN Education Lottery. Currently she teaching 8th grade math (CC3) in Memphis, TN.

Thor Tillberg – Thor Tillberg teaches at Bushwick Leaders’ High School in Brooklyn, New York. This is his 6th year teaching math and 5th year teaching CPM as a special education teacher in an integrated co-teaching classroom. He is participating in his 3rd year of TRC. His first year of TRC, his team examined how normalizing mistakes can lead to an improved growth mindset and the second year his team investigated how questioning can lead to greater student perseverance.