March 2022 NCSM Insider


Message from NCSM President, Paul Gray

Women’s History Month


I like how we set aside different months to acknowledge the contributions to American history and culture of different groups of people. February, of course, is Black History Month, and I remember asking as a child why we had a month to celebrate Black history and not one for white history. The answer made sense to me even then – every day focuses on events and history of white people so we need a month to call attention to the undertold stories of how Black people have 

contributed to the American fabric. I would apply that logic to other groups, including women, and their respective months of focus.


Education, as a profession, has mostly women in its workforce and by a very large majority. Yet, women are still underrepresented in leadership roles and in STEM-related fields. According to the AASA: The School Superintendents Association, in 2020 only 27% of superintendents in the U.S. were women. And the American Association of University Women (AAUW) reports that only 28% of STEM workers are women.


So with March being Women’s History Month, my thoughts turn to the incredible women who have made contributions to mathematics and to education. Of course, one thinks about women such as Dr. Katherine Johnson who hand-calculated (!) the precise paths to land men on the moon in the 1960s. Perhaps one also thinks about women such as Emmy Noether, whose work laid a strong foundation for conceptual or abstract mathematics.

I don’t know about you, but if I hear “we are living in historical times” one more time, I’m liable to lose my religion. What with the COVID-19 plague and now staring down the barrel of World War III, we are all experiencing firsthand what it’s like living through historical periods that will go down in the books for future generations to read about and wonder what it was like to experience.


So if we are living in historical times, that means we are also living women’s history this month. And I think we have women in the field of mathematics education right now who are creating history. I know some of them and I think you do, too. I recently re-watched an episode of The Golden Girls where Sophia Petrillo went to a friend’s wake and was taken with how deeply that friend touched so many lives. She asked the question, “why wait until someone’s funeral to let them know how much they meant to you?” So what if we took a moment to honor our women colleagues and think about the contributions they are making today to a future history?


I’m thinking about women like NCSM Past President Mona Toncheff who led NCSM through the pandemic years and some of the darkest times in recent memory. She was the leader we needed when we faced tremendous uncertainty, including painful decisions to cancel two annual conferences. She also helped us figure out, alongside colleagues like NCSM Professional Learning Director Jenny Novak and current NCSM Vice President Georgina Rivera, how to innovatively meet the rapidly-changing learning needs of mathematics leaders across the continent.


I’m thinking about women like Lesley University Assistant Professor Dr. Hilary Kreisberg, who has always been concerned about equity and when COVID shut down our educational systems in 2020 convened an ad hoc group of mathematics leaders from around the country via Zoom to brainstorm solutions to our common problems. Her work continues to center the importance of including parents in the educational narratives of their children’s lives.


I’m thinking about women like Benjamin Banneker Association Executive Director Beatrice Moore Luchin, who pushes teachers and her fellow mathematics leaders to keep moving along in their equity journeys. Her work shows teachers how what we think of as “just good teaching” is critical for all students, particularly students of color who too often are pushed into rote, low-demand instruction.


I’m thinking about women like Texas State Board of Education member Marisa Perez-Diaz, from San Antonio, who tirelessly advocates for all students, particularly Hispanic students, in all state level education policy decisions. We met her in 2017 when NCSM was in San Antonio and she welcomed mathematics leaders from across the U.S. and Canada, but her reach goes beyond mathematics into all subjects, including social studies where she was instrumental in creating a statewide Mexican American Studies course for high school students.


Of course, there are many, many more women who are doing amazing work to move the field of mathematics education forward. The narrative of history is a constellation of all our stories. The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., once said that “the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” Our individual stories about our work with equity resonate and come together, moving us all further along that historical arc, bending toward justice and a more equitable education system for each and every student. Our collective journey is made up of all our seemingly small steps that we take together. Today’s stories come together to create tomorrow’s history.


It’s important for us to be able to tell our stories, particularly the women mathematics leaders who work hard every day to make their own contributions to collective change. This Women’s History Month let’s take Sophia’s advice and pause for a moment to acknowledge the important women in our professional lives and celebrate their stories.


Y’all be careful and we’ll touch base again in April.


NCSM is excited to announce the keynote speaker for our Annual Conference - Dr. Tyrone Howard! Plan now to join us in Anaheim, CA September 26-28!!! #NCSM22

Call for Manuscripts!!!!

The editors of the NCSM Journal of Mathematics Education Leadership (JMEL) are interested in manuscripts! 


The editors are particularly interested in manuscripts that bridge research to practice in mathematics education leadership. Manuscripts should be relevant to our members’ roles as leaders in mathematics education, and implications of the manuscript for leaders in mathematics education should be significant. At least one author of the manuscript must be a current member of NCSM.


Categories for submissions include:

  • Case studies and lessons learned from mathematics education leadership in schools, districts, states, regions, or provinces
  • Research reports with implications for mathematics education leaders
  • Professional development efforts including how these efforts are situated in the larger context of professional development and implications for leadership practice
  • Other categories that support the NCSM vision will also be considered.

Submission Procedures 

  • Each manuscript will be reviewed by two volunteer reviewers and a member of the editorial panel. Manuscripts should be emailed to the Journal Editors, currently Drs. Erin Lehmann and Paula Jakopovic, at [email protected] 

Submissions should follow the most current edition of APA style and include:

  1. A Word file(.docx) with author information (name, title, institution, address, phone, email) and an abstract (maximum of 120 words) followed by the body of the manuscript (maximum of 12,000 words)
  2. Ablinded Word file (.docx) as above but with author information and all references to authors removed.

Click on any image below for more info!!!!.

Latest NCSM Podcast - From Mona Toncheff, NCSM Past President & John SanGiovanni, RD for Eastern Region 2

Virtual Seminars 3/7 - Register by 3/2  - From Jenny Novak & Pam Seda, NCSM Professional Learning Directors


NCSM Inspiration! - From Kim Romain and Luis Lima, NCSM Inspiration Co-Editors

NCSM Journal of Mathematics Education Leadership - From Erin Lehmann & Paula Jakopovic, NCSM Journal Co-Editors

NCSM Annual Report

Regional Director Blog

\Joint Position Paper

AMTE Call for Articles!

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