To de-mystify mathematics for students at Wilson Middle School in Tampa, Mary Thoreen finds ways to make the abstract more concrete, displaying colored tiles to help students "see" area and volume or using colored manipulative counters to help them comprehend integer operations. She uses hands-on activities, growth portfolios, student-led conferencing and even rap songs to motivate her pupils to learn. Through an EETT (Enhancing Education Through Technology) grant from the Florida Department of Education, Ms. Thoreen employs a program to improve retention among low- achieving math students. Her work helped the school achieve the best math scores in the state among regular (non-gifted) schools. A National Board Certified Teacher, Ms. Thoreen mentors new teachers, serves as facilitator for her Professional Learning Community, and coaches her school's MathCOUNTS and Math League Teams.
1981 Florida State University, B.S.