I grew up in Conyers and graduated from Heritage High School (1988). From Georgia State University I graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree (1994) and a Master of Science degree (2000), both in mathematics. I earned my Doctor of Philosophy in Mathematics degree from the University of Johannesburg in South Africa (2004) with a dissertation in the field of spectral graph theory. My dissertation was supervised by Dr. Elizabeth Jonck (University of Johannesburg), Dr. Gayla Sue Domke (Purdue University, formerly at Georgia State), and Dr. George Davis (Georgia State University, retired). Check out the Mathematics Geneology Project to view my mathematical ancestors.
I have taught at Rockdale Magnet School since August 2001. Before that I was a middle school math teacher for seven years, five of those at Conyers Middle School in Conyers, Georgia, and the first two at Robison Middle School in Las Vegas, Nevada. The 2022-2023 school year marks my twenty-ninth year teaching.
I am fortunate and honored to be recognized for the work I put into my teaching through the years. I earned the Excellence in Teaching Mathematics Award for Georgia in 2003; I was the very first Teacher of the Year for Rockdale Magnet School (in 2007); I was one of three Finalists for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics Teaching in 2007 and one of five in 2014; I received GCTM’s Dwight Love Award in 2010 for “distinguished service to the field of mathematics education”; in 2016 I received the Georgia Association of AP Math Teacher’s John Neff Award for “outstanding service to the AP community and years of outstanding teaching in AP mathematics”; and in 2018 I received GCTM’s highest honor, the Gladys M. Thomason Award for Distinguished Service in Mathematics Education.
But none of these compare to the honors bestowed upon me by my students: I was selected by the STAR student as the high school’s STAR Teacher an incredible 15 times! What follows is the list of amazing students who have chosen me.
Kelly Morrison Cantu, 2003
Kendra Heisner Wilkerson, 2004
Mitch Costley, 2005
Lacy Reynolds Moss, 2006
Amy Lanchester, 2007
Sam Brotherton, 2008
Justin Easley, 2009
Vaidehi Joshi, 2010
Faustine Li, 2011
Heeyon Kim, 2013
Andrew Bonar, 2017
Brandon Hong, 2019
Sarah Goldgar and Abby Oser, 2020
Ava Bailey, 2021
I was selected by numerous Honor Students as a Superintendent’s Honor Teacher for 23 consecutive years (1999 to 2021). Former STAR student Justin Easley nominated me for the MIT Inspirational Teacher Award, which I received in March 2011. Two students, Zach York and Aqib Momin, selected me for the Georgia Federal Credit Union/Star94 Teachers Make a Difference Award in 2013, and former student Matthew Le nominated me for the Yale Educator Award, which I received in September 2016.
I also teach classes on-line for The Art of Problem Solving. I have taught classes on number theory, counting & probability, geometry, precalculus, calculus, the AMC 10, the AMC 12, and the AIME.
I am also actively involved in competitive mathematics. Not only do I sponsor both the Varsity and Junior Varsity divisions of the Rockdale Magnet Math Team, I am also one of six coaches for the state-wide Georgia ARML team. This team is comprised of the 45 best mathematics students in the state who then compete at the world-wide American Regions Mathematics League (ARML) tournament each June.
I served the Georgia Council of Teachers of Mathematics as their Vice-President for Competitions from November 2009 to October 2019. In this role, I led the preparation and organization for the GCTM middle school math tournament and the State Math Tournament. I will serve as Treasurer of GCTM from November 2020 to October 2024.
I served, from February 2014 to January 2017, on the Board of Governors of the Mathematical Association of America as the Governor-at-Large for High School Teachers. As the High School Governor, I was also ex-officio member of the Council on Outreach Programs, the Committee for the American Mathematics Competition, and the Committee for the Edith May Sliffe Award.
My work with the MAA involved chairing the Sliffe Award Committee from 2016 to 2022, chairing the Teachers of Advanced High School Mathematics Special Interest Group of the MAA from 2016 to 2021, and being the MAA Representative on the national Mu Alpha Theta Governing Council since 2014. I have also written a few Mu-level tests for the National Mu Alpha Theta Convention from 2016 to 2019.
I am the Secretary-Treasurer of the Georgia Association of AP Math Teachers. I was appointed to this position in October 2019. Previously, I served as Director-at-Large from October 2007 to October 2013.
Finally, I have served on the Georgia Department of Education's Math Advisory Council since 2008.