Partners & Sponsors:

University of Michigan Mathematics Department
Math and Science Center at Wayne RESA Center for Inquiry Based Learning
Math Sciences Research Institute (MSRI)
Detroit Area Council of Teachers of Mathematics
National Association of Math Circles
National Security Agency
American Institute of Mathematics
Mathematical Association of America

Leadership Team

Director: Nina White
Nina White teaches math content courses to future teachers at the University of Michigan. Besides teaching the courses, she is also responsible for developing and enhancing the courses to actively engage students in mathematical exploration and problem-solving. Her work draws on her background in pure mathematics, her research experiences in math education, and her deep interest in student learning.

Co-Director: Stephen DeBacker
Stephen DeBacker has been a professor in the University of Michigan math department since 2002. He has served as director of the Michigan Math Circle, the Michigan Math and Science Scholars, and the Michigan Mathematics Undergraduate program, and he has worked with elementary and secondary school teachers through the SESAME program (in both Chicago and Boston). In 2011 he was appointed as an Arthur F. Thurnau Professor and in 2012 he was named Carnegie Foundation Professor of the Year for Michigan.

Wayne RESA Leaders:

David Sword
David Sword has worked at Wayne RESA as a Math Consultant since July 2009 and as a Math Coach for 1 year prior to that. Prior to coming to Wayne RESA, David taught high school mathematics for 20 years in Dearborn Heights (2 Years), Benton Harbor (3 Years), Detroit Public Schools (13 years), and Madison Heights (2 years). David has also been an adjunct faculty member at Wayne State University since 2003 and a National Instructor for Texas Instruments since 2005. David has a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from The University of Michigan - Dearborn and a Master of Education in Mathematics Education from Wayne State University.

Libby Pizzo
Libby Pizzo is the current Treasurer of Michigan’s Mathematics and Science Centers Network and is the current Director and one of three Mathematics Consultants at the Wayne Regional Educational Service Agency, (Wayne RESA). Previously, she was an educator with Detroit Public Schools where she taught mathematics, science and social studies in grades 3 through 8. In her current role, she is responsible for organizing, planning and conducting professional development opportunities for teachers in Wayne County related to mathematics curriculum, instruction and assessment. She is also an adjunct faculty member at Wayne State University where she teaches mathematics methods courses to pre-service teachers.

Teacher Leader:

Jennifer Lawson (Hillside Middle School)
Jennifer Lawson is a 6th grade teacher at Hillside Middle School, where she has also served as Mathematics Department Chair. Besides regular 6th grade math, she also teaches Advanced Mathematics and Enrichment Mathematics. At her school she has founded several extra-curricular math programs in including an after school math club, and an after school peer-tutoring program. She is currently Vice President for Middle Grades and Membership Chair for DACTM (Detroit Area Council of Teachers of Mathematics). Between 2004 and 2010 she worked at Wayne State as an instructor and field supervisor in several teacher education courses and she currently teaches Algebra at Oakland Community College.

Cathy Melody
Cathy Melody is a mathematics consultant and teacher. She specializes in grades K-8. She focuses her workshops on pedagogy, math talk, journaling and integrating the CCSS, including the 8 mathematical practices. She is a former instructor of Elementary Education Mathematics Methods courses at two universities in the Metro Detroit area and an instructor at a community college.

Andrea Jurk (Romulus High School)
Andrea Jurk is currently teaching special education Algebra I and II at Romulus High School. She brings a diverse perspective to our team because her background is is special education and english language arts. She has been a participant for 5 years in two PD programs (Algebra For All and Project PRIME) through Wayne RESA and has been inspired by her experiences in these programs, especially what she's learned from fellow teachers. She was recently given the chance to return to teaching ELA but decided to persist in teaching math because of her new found enjoyment of the subject. She struggled herself as a high school mathematics student and has a deep and unique perspective on learning mathematics as a result.

Joe Ciarovino (Parcells Middle School)
Joseph Ciaravino has been teaching middle school and high school mathematics since 1991. He has been a strong advocate of technology in the classroom for the last 25 years and has had success training and supporting teachers in their use of technology.