Autobiographical and

Philosophical Statement


I am a doctoral student in the Department of Mathematics and Science Education at the University of Georgia, working towards a Ph.D. in Mathematics Education. I arrived at the university through the guidance of a number of people who have supported me throughout my careers. I began cooking professionally on Martha's Vineyard Island, MA, while a student at Somerset High School. I cooked my way to a BSCE at MIT, and spent four years after graduation chefing at various seasonal resorts throughout New England. I am still involved with MIT as an Educational Counselor, working with the Admissions office interviewing potential students.

Taking a break from the culinary arts, I was encouraged by a group of teenagers i had met to consider pursuing a career in teaching. Before too long, I found myself interviewing for a Math/Technology position at Fryeburg Academy in Maine. At Fryeburg, home of the Fryeburg Fair, I had the opportunity to start what has become a long journey into understanding what good math teaching means to me. It was in Fryeburg that I was exposed to the work of Sheldon Berman and Educators for Social Responsibility. This led to work with Marylyn Wentworth, cofounder of The School Around Us and currently Founding Principal of The New School in Kennebunk, ME. At the time, Marylyn was coordinator of the Partnership Teacher's Network, a Foxfire affiliate, which brought me into contact with Lynn Miller and the Southern Maine Partnership. As a member of the Partnership Teacher's Network, I was first exposed to the work of the Coalition of Essential Schools as well. Through this time, I began to develop some very strong ideas about teaching and the role of problem solving and authentic work in schools, particularly as tools for effectively guiding student learning in mathematics. On leaving Fryeburg, I had several opportunities and experiences in a wide variety of settings to help me further consider what makes for effective math teaching. I have taught around the world in both public and private schools with day and boarding programs. I have had the opportunity to work within a wide variety of cultures and socioeconomic structures, ranging from the Darrow School in rural New Lebanon, NY, steeped in Shaker tradition, values and history, to Dwight-Englewood School in Englewood, NJ, a somewhat exclusive private school in metropolitan New York. I enjoyed the sun sand and culture of St. Croix while working with students at Good Hope School, whose people I miss to this day. Continuing my globe-hopping, I had an opportunity to work in a very unique setting at Korean Minjok Leadership Academy, a dual curriculum (English and Korean), fee-paid boarding school for the top students in Korea. I ended my time in high schools for the moment across the United States, in inner city Cleveland, the Surprise/El Mirage barrios of metropolitan Phoenix, and Holbrook, AZ, a bordertown of the Navajo nation.