Who We Are

Founders and Co-Owners

Marco Ramirez, BS, M.Ed

  Marco Ramirez is a national presenter and the 2006 Arizona Milken Foundation Principal Educator of the year. He has worked for the Arizona Department of Education as a facilitator for the Mathematics Standards development and as a facilitator for the Arizona Instrument for Measuring Standards performance objective task team.  He has also been a program committee member for the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Washington D.C. conference as well as a presenter for the National Research Council in the area of mathematics.

Marco Ramirez has been a principal for over 10 years.  He has worked as a math coach for 6 years and has taught in both the elementary level and middle school level.  He has served as the Dean of Mathematics for Tucson Unified School District for which he supported the district in providing mathematics professional development and providing systemic reform support in the area of mathematics.  Marco was also a principal coach for the Arizona Department of Education Wallace Foundation, a mathematics consultant for Marilyn Burns Education Associates, and West Ed.  He has been a mathematics staff developer for over 20 years.

Marco co-authored the book, Small Steps Big Changes, Eight Essential Practices for Transforming Schools Through Mathematics with Chris Confer and together they produced 6 DVDs on classroom instruction, anchor charts, journaling, and using manipulatives to be released in the Fall of 2012. Marco is co-owner of Associates for Educational Success, an Education Consulting Firm.

Chris Confer, BA, M.Ed., Admin.

8-2-10Chris Confer is one of the nation’s leading presenters on mathematics, school improvement, and effective instruction. Her lively, engaging workshops and presentations are grounded in her extensive classroom experience with students of all ages. Chris’s presentations reflect her 35 years of experience as a teacher, an instructional coach and a district co-director of mathematics. Chris has authored numerous books on mathematics instruction, and has consulted for 25 years, both nationally and internationally.

Chris understands the key role that comprehension plays in mathematics, and how fluent skills and solid conceptual learning create effective webs of understanding. She and Marco Ramirez co-authored an exciting new book, Small Steps, Big Changes: Eight Essential Practices for Transforming Schools Through Mathematics. This book shares stories from the perspectives of the teacher, the principal, and the math coach, and will serve as a springboard for transformative school improvement discussions. Her other books, Math By All Means: Geometry for Grades 1 and 2, Developing Number Sense: Kindergarten, Developing Number Sense: Grade 1, and Sizing Up Measurement: Grades 3-5 describe mathematics activities and instruction that inspire students to say, “Yes, I can!”

Educational Consultants

Samantha Klein Rose, BSED, MA

Samantha Rose

Samantha Rose holds a master’s degree in middle school mathematics and leadership from the University of Arizona, and a bachelor’s degree in secondary math education from West Chester University of Pennsylvania. She holds a current Arizona teaching certificate with an SEI endorsement.  Samantha taught middle school math in Tucson Unified School District as well as served as the district middle school math specialist. As a math specialist she planned and hosted professional development for 26 schools and developed the new middle school math curriculum for the common core. She is passionate about mathematics professional development for teachers and integrating technology into the mathematics classroom.  Samantha is a trainer for Promethean Boards and has also used Smart Boards and other instructional technologies throughout her career. She is well versed in using the iPad and is knowledgeable on how to integrate this technology into the classroom. She has extensive knowledge of the Common Core State Standards of mathematics. Samantha worked with the Institute of Mathematics Education at the University of Arizona to co-author a national toolkit on the 6-8 grade common core mathematics standards.  Mrs. Rose is deeply committed to improving mathematics instruction and technology integration in the classroom.

Troy Noble, M.Ed.

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Troy Noble has been in the field of education for over 12 years as a teacher, coach and interventionist.  He has a Master’s Degree in Administration and has worked in a variety of environments from K-8 schools through high schools.  He majored in mathematics as an undergraduate student and holds a degree in Middle Level Education.  Through careful questions and real world scenarios, along with captivating anecdotes, Troy brings math alive in the classroom and generates an environment rich in mathematical vocabulary and content.  His ability to teach across multiple grade levels allows him to model lessons for all teachers while at the same time he demonstrates small changes that can be implemented to improve student achievement and teacher pedagogy.

Jessica Agnew-Weil, B.Ed, MA

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Jessica Agnew-Weil holds a Master’s Degree in Middle School Mathematics Teaching and Leadership and a Bachelor’s in Elementary Education from the University of Arizona.  She has a current K-8 teaching certification with an SEI and a Math Specialist endorsement.  She has received extensive training in Cognitively Guided Instruction in mathematics from the University of Arizona.  Jessica has worked with students in K-6 classrooms in Tucson Unified School District as an SEI classroom teacher, an ELD teacher at a culturally/linguistically diverse school, a school math specialist and an instructional coach and mentor.  Jessica participated in the development of the district curriculum for Arizona’s College and Career Ready Standards (Common Core) and facilitated math professional development to district teachers.  Jessica also worked with the Institute of Mathematics Education at the University of Arizona to present Common Core Toolkit Trainings to teachers across Southern Arizona.  She participated in the planning and presentation of project-based learning STEM workshops for the Pima Regional Support Center and co-authored a web-based course on the Standards for Mathematical Practices for the Arizona Department of Education.

Jessica is committed to supporting teachers and students in mathematics education.  She enjoys embedding technology and hands-on, minds-on investigations into math instruction.  She is passionate about equity in education and making content meaningful for culturally and linguistically diverse students.

Phyllis Burks, MA, M.Ed., CELTA

Phyllis Burks has been an educator, trainer, coach and consultant for over 25 years. As a K-5 Math Specialist and trainer, she has worked with teachers, principals, and district personnel to foster change and build math capacity to meet defined achievement goals. As a consultant and coach she aims to build trusted relationships, provide timely feedback and model effective instructional strategies.

While a math coach with the Tucson Unified School District, she has advocated high expectations for both student and teacher learning. She has supported site-level professional development through facilitation of in-service training and grade-level team meetings. In order to monitor the progress of struggling students, she developed assessment tools and established systems to collect, share, analyze and report formative data. Using language development as an integral part of helping students make sense of math, she helped guide Robison Elementary in Tucson from an Underperforming school to Performing Plus.

Working as a consultant with the Washington Elementary School District in Phoenix, AZ, she has supported classroom teachers in effective implementation of high quality standards-based math instruction. She has worked with teachers in the classroom, monitoring instruction, modeling lessons, and team teaching. She has encouraged teachers to reflect on their practice, take risk, and grow professionally. Ms Burks has been a co-director of the Math/Science Partnership Grant with the University of Arizona and has served as a math trainer with the University of Arizona’s SEED Project (Scholarships for Education and Economic Development), a program for visiting teachers from Mexico and Guatemala.

While working on the district Math Initiative (2006 – 2008) she helped draft a new 5-year Math Plan and developed common core monthly math assessments that align with the Investigations curriculum. In collaboration with site-based math teams, she facilitated protocols for evaluating the monthly assessments, and planned interventions to meet student’s mathematical needs. Valuing school/family partnerships to support math learning for students, she developed multiple ways to engage families and create bridges from the classroom to the home that extend and deepen mathematics learning. As Chairman of the 2010 TUSD K-5 Math Textbook Adoption Committee, she expanded her knowledge and understanding of scientifically based math programs and developed protocols for evaluating math programs using NCTM principles, state standards, and the Five Components of Math Proficiency.

Ms. Burks received her BA in math and philosophy from the University of Rochester, an MA in Linguistics from UC Berkeley, K-8 teacher certification from California State University at Sacramento, a Masters in Educational Leadership from Northern Arizona University and certification to teach English as a second language from Cambridge University. She has her administrative credential and is fully endorsed for ESL, Middle School Math, and Early Childhood Education.

Linda M. Fulmore, Ed.D.

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Linda Fulmore works in middle and high school districts developing effective professional learning communities (PLC’s) with same grade level and same course level teams.  She has over 30 years of mathematics education experience as teacher, administrator, community college adjunct faculty, mathematics coach and facilitator of professional development. Linda has extensive knowledge of the Common Core Content Standards and the Standards for Mathematical Practices. She frequently speaks at state, regional, and national mathematics conferences.

Linda was on the writing teams for the National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics’ publications Principles and Indicators for Mathematics Educators (PRIME) and Themes and Imperatives for Mathematics Education (2014). She views supporting schools and teachers as ‘a calling’ and an honor to make a difference. Linda holds membership in the Arizona Association of Teachers of Mathematics, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, and TODOS Mathematics for All. Her doctorate is in Curriculum and Instruction from Northern Arizona University.

Karolyn Williams, M.Ed.

Karolyn Williams has been an enthusiastic elementary educator for the last 17 years.  Her experience has been working with minority and low-income students from grades preschool to 4.  Karolyn currently is an instructional coach in Tucson Unified School District. She received comprehensive instruction at the National Multiage Institute in Flagstaff and continues team-teaching in a 3rd/4th multiage classroom.  Karolyn was a Rodel Exemplary Teacher Semi-finalist.  Karolyn was selected to participate at DMI (Developing Mathematical Ideas) in Massachusetts and also presented for the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics in Washington D.C.  She co-authored the chapter “Co-teaching: A Powerful Tool in the book: The Math Coach Field Guide.  Karolyn developed math assessments and coordinated a math investigation study for Tucson Unified School District support staff and teachers along with a pacing calendar for implementation.  She organized and assisted in writing math “Problems of the Day” to support district math adoption for grades kindergarten through 5.  Karolyn co-authored Math by the Month for Teaching Children Mathematics Magazine: Published by National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.  Her students have achieved an exceptional record of high performance on the Arizona Instrument to Measure Standards in mathematics.  She continues researching, co-teaching, and exploring student’s mathematical thinking.

Dora Saldamando

Dora Saldamando was selected as a 2010 semi-finalist in the Rodel Foundation of Arizona’s search for exemplary teachers. She has also worked as a mathematics consultant for Marilyn Burns Education Associates and has been a mathematics facilitator and coach for Tucson Unified School District in planning and implementing professional development workshops and at a Summer Mathematics Institute for teachers to ensure successful mathematics instruction across the curriculum.  Furthermore, Dora  has presented and modeled mathematics instruction in classroom settings to assist and support teachers throughout the Tucson Unified School District.  She has presented at math workshops for the Center for the Mathematics Education for Latino Students, Waggoner Elementary School in Phoenix, Arizona and at the University of Arizona-College of Education. She has assisted in designing a district-wide math assessments and a rubric system for Tucson Unified School District.  Dora Saldamando has been an elementary school teacher at Pueblo Gardens K-8 School for the last 13 years and has participated as a co-author for Teaching Children Mathematics monthly magazine for the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.  She was also selected and acknowledged as a “Site Educator for Excellence” by Teacher Feature link in the Northeast Region-Tucson Unified School District.

Elizabeth Egan, M.Ed.

Elizabeth Egan has been an elementary school teacher at Pueblo Gardens K-8 School for the last 13 years.  She has taught grades Kindergarten through Fourth Grade.   Elizabeth has had extensive training through Title 1 Mathematics Projects, NCTM, as well as Math Solutions.  In 2009, Elizabeth was acknowledged to participate in the Talent Transfer Initiative. She is considered a “benchmark” teacher.  Her classroom has an excellent history of performing plus on the AIMS test in mathematics.  She is bilingually certified and has experience in Bilingual Classrooms as well as SEI Designated Classrooms.  She has been trained with the National Multiage Institute and has taught Multiage in a team teaching situation for the last eight years.  She has extensive knowledge and training in teaching second language learners.      She has also worked as a mathematics coach for Tucson Unified School District in planning and implementing professional development workshops.  In addition, Elizabeth has facilitated   “lesson studies” in classrooms with the purpose to model and support quality math instruction.  She has had experience being the AIMS Testing Coordinator.  She assisted in developing and implementing a district-wide math assessment and a rubric system for Tucson Unified School District in addition to developing the mathematics pacing calendar for the third and fourth grades.   Furthermore, she assisted in creating Math Problems of the Day for the Tucson Unified School District’s Schools who were using the “Investigations” Units for first through fourth grades.

Judith Rogers

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Nora Ramirez

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