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2021 Election Candidates

Candidates for President

Tammy Donalson

Present position in GCTM:  GMC Registrar

Universities Attended and Degrees Held:

  • Valdosta University — Master's Degree, Secondary Mathematics
  • Valdosta University — Bachelor of Science, Secondary Mathematics
  • Bainbridge College — Associate of Arts, Secondary Mathematics

Professional Experience:

  • 2010 - present — Cairo High School — Assistant Principal for Curriculum and Instruction;
    9-12 Curriculum Director
  • 1992 - 2010 — Cairo High School — Mathematics Teacher
  • 1990 - 1992 — Washington Middle School — Mathematics Teacher

GCTM Offices/Committees:

  • GMC Registrar
  • GMC Board Chair

Other Professional Organizations and Offices:

  • NCTM
  • PAGE

Honors and Awards:

  • Gladys M. Thomason Award
  • Teacher of the Year — Cairo High School
  • Linda Lee — Applied Mathematics Award
  • Employee of the Month — Cairo High School

Candidate Statement:

"I love mathematics!! I have been an educator for 31 years and although I did not spend all the years in the classroom, I never lost my love for mathematics. I have had the privilege of having a larger influence on the mathematics in my county but serving as the 9-12 curriculum director. As GCTM president, I have the opportunity once again to expand my influence for mathematics. I will be able to lead GCTM and advocate for all teachers in the state of Georgia. Georgia educators find themselves in uncharted waters. We are asking more and more of our teachers and we must remember that our teachers are one of the most important factors in a child’s education. Mathematics education has changed also, and it is more important than ever that we prepare our students to be leaders in Georgia and beyond. I believe that I can be an asset to GCTM and I bring love for mathematics and the ability to provide strong leadership."

Tashana Howse

Present position in GCTM:  2021 Conference Board Chair

Universities Attended and Degrees Held:

  • University of Central Florida — Doctorate of Philosophy, Mathematics Education
  • Florida State University — Master of Science, Mathematics Education
  • Florida State University — Bachelor of Science, Mathematics Education

Professional Experience:

  • 2016-Present Associate Professor, College of Education, Georgia Gwinnett College
  • 2011-2016 Assistant Professor, College of Education, Daytona State College
  • 2011-2011 Adjunct Instructor of Elementary Education, Daytona State College
  • 2007-2010 Instructor of Mathematics, Bethune-Cookman University
  • 2003-2007 Mathematics Teacher, Godby High School, Leon County Schools
  • 2002-2003 Mathematics Teacher, Florida A&M Developmental Research School
  • 2000-2002 Mathematics Teacher, Deerfield Beach High School, Broward County Schools

GCTM Offices/Committees:

  • 2020 Conference Board Chair
  • 2019 GMC Program Committee Chair
  • 2018 GMC Program Committee
  • 2018 GCTM Summer Academies Writer and Presenter
  • 2017 GCTM Summer Academies Writer and Presenter

Other Professional Organizations and Offices:

  • 2019-2020 NCTM Proposal Review Committee for 2020 Annual Conference
  • 2016-2018 Program Committee for NCTM 2018 Annual Conference
  • 2015-2016 Annual Conference volunteer committee for NCTM
  • 2015-2016 NCSM Proposal Review Committee for 2016 Annual Conference

Candidate Statement:

"Mathematics is a part of everything we do. As I reflect on the teaching and learning of mathematics, the primary role of teachers is to provide students with opportunities to engage with content that enables them to make sense of their environment. In America’s diverse classrooms, making sense of one’s environment is different as students are from multiple backgrounds and have various experiences. Therefore, mathematics instruction must be authentic and designed with students in mind. My vision for mathematics education is empowering students to draw upon the strength of mathematics to understand the world they live in and to capitalize on their knowledge and skills to drive innovation that will make the world a better place.

Over the past year, our nation has faced unprecedented times. Both the pandemic and the heightened focus on social justice have changed the way teachers and students interact. These challenges have forced educators to rethink instruction as well as student engagement during instruction. Most importantly, these challenges have reinvigorated our focus on access and equity and its role in mathematics classrooms. This is an opportune time for GCTM to continue to lead in this endeavor. In 2019 and 2020, the organization began this effort through the Georgia Mathematics Conference. As president, I will work with GCTM to advance these efforts by ensuring that all mathematics educators of our 181 school districts have voice and continue to place the learning of all students at the forefront of mathematics instruction. Without learning, what is the purpose of teaching? Without students, what is the purpose of teachers? Without the connection to students’ lived experiences, what is the purpose of mathematics learning? These are the questions that I ponder as a leader in mathematics education. As president, I will work with GCTM to empower Georgia’s teachers to empower students through effective mathematics instruction that is accessible and equitable to each and every learner."

Candidates for Secretary

Alana Dixon

Present position in GCTM:  Member

Universities Attended and Degrees Held:

  • Valdosta State University — BSED, Elementary Education
  • Walden University — MSED, Elementary Reading and Literacy
  • Valdosta State University — Ed. S., Teacher Leadership

Professional Experience:

  • Tift County Schools, elementary teacher 2003-2005
  • Cook County Schools, elementary teacher 2005-2008
  • Lowndes County Schools, elementary teacher 2008-2016
  • Cook County Schools, elementary teacher 2016-Present

Other Professional Organizations and Offices:

  • Professional Association of Georgia Educators
  • Georgia Association for Gifted Children

Honors and Awards:

  • Cook County 4-H Teacher of the Year, 2019
  • Math Standards Review, Fifth Grade Teacher Working Committee, 2020

Candidate Statement:

"Mathematics instruction is forever changing. In the past decade, we have witnessed a paradigm shift in mathematical thinking that is reflected in the teaching strategies that we implement in our classrooms. Students are spending more time in math conversations. Rote memorization and basic skill instruction have been replaced with deeper understanding of mathematical concepts. Math conversation has replaced the quiet that was once associated in the math classroom. I work hard to build connections with my students through integrated studies that promote a deeper understanding and application of mathematical concepts. When introducing a new skill or concept, I always facilitate a discussion of careers that use that particular skill. I have found that this gives learning a purpose. Through manipulatives and real-life activities my students develop a love for mathematics and apply all that they are learning in my classroom throughout their lives. Through this discussion students begin to see math in their daily lives and future careers. My goal as a math teacher is to set the foundation for a lifelong love for mathematics. I am honored to receive this nomination and would love to serve the students and educators of Georgia in this capacity."

Storie Atkins

Universities Attended and Degrees Held:

  • University of Alabama, B. Ed., Secondary Math Education
  • Columbus State University, M. Ed., Secondary Math Education
  • Columbus State University, S. Ed., Secondary Math Education
  • National Board Certification in Adolescence and Young Adulthood/Mathematics

Professional Experience:

  • Columbus High School, math teacher and department chair, 2002 - Present
  • Chattahoochee Valley Community College, part-time math instructor, 2001 - 2002
  • Harris County High School, math teacher, 1997 - 2000
  • Central High School, math teacher, 1995-1997

GCTM Offices/Committees:

  • GCTM Secretary (April to November 2020)
  • GCTM state math competition committee (2013-2015)

Other Professional Organizations and Offices:

  • GA²PMT – Secretary/Treasurer (2007-2019)
  • GA²PMT – President Elect (2019-Present)

Honors and Awards:

  • Rubin Award for Mu Alpha Theta chapter (2009)
  • GCTM Dwight Love Award (2011)
  • Mu Alpha Theta Regional Sponsor of the Year (2018)
  • MAA’s Edyth May Sliffe Award (2019)
  • Teacher of the Year (county level top 3 finalist/top 10 finalist) (2007/2018)
  • Star Teacher (state finalist) (2012/2019)

Candidate Statement:

"Since becoming a Georgia teacher nearly 23 years ago, GCTM has had a tremendously positive impact on both my professional and personal life. GCTM has supported me with countless resources and experiences that have helped mold me into the teacher I am today. Not only have I accumulated a library of activities and lessons, gathered from conferences, workshops, and Reflections articles, but I have also gained access to a network of amazing math teachers around the state of Georgia. I have personally enjoyed annual participation in the GMC conference as a rejuvenation in my motivation for teaching and a recharge from collaborating with other teachers and soaking in the beautiful nature at Rock Eagle. GCTM has made me a better teacher, and I feel it is now my turn to give back. I was honored to serve as secretary in the brief time from April to November last year. I would love the opportunity to continue serving as secretary. I have experience in completing the duties required of the office of secretary, and I am committed to fulfilling those duties to the best of my ability and in service to an organization that continues to support me in so many ways. I would be honored to earn your vote."

Candidates for VP of Advocacy

Jennifer Donalson

Present position in GCTM:  VP of Regional Services

Universities Attended and Degrees Held:

  • Andrew College- Associates of Arts
  • Truett McConnell University- Bachelors of Science
  • Valdosta State University- Masters in Middle Grades Math and Science
  • Valdosta State University- Specialists in Teacher Leadership

Professional Experience:

  • 2020-current: Washington Middle School- 6th Math and Science Teacher
  • 2019-2020: Whigham Elementary School- 6th Math Teacher
  • 2014-2019: Washington Middle School- 6th, 7th, and 8th grade Advanced Placement Math and Science
  • 2019: Summer Academy Facilitator
  • 2015: Science Ambassador for Georgia

GCTM Offices/Committees:

  • Current Vice President of Regional Services
  • Current South West Region Representative
  • Membership Committee
  • Honors and Awards Committee
  • Summer Academy Facilitator
  • GMC Presenter

Other Professional Organizations and Offices:

  • Delta Kappa Gamma

Honors and Awards:

  • Teacher of Promise (GCTM)
  • Teacher of Excellence (GCTM)
  • Teacher of the Year (Washington Middle School)

Candidate Statement:

"Mathematics Education is my heart. I believe that all students can learn when given the opportunity. I believe that the teachers of GA should be supported by leadership in the schools and at the state level. As Vice President for Advocacy, I believe that I will have the opportunity to be the voice of Mathematics teachers and share our voices to those that make the decisions. This role will allow me to be more involved and stay connected to the state level stakeholders. As a young, but experienced, educator, I believe that I have the ability to fight for the needs of GA Mathematics Educators as we continue to fight through the vast changes that have been implemented in the past year. I plan to continue to support GCTM and its members in the role of advocacy for Mathematics Education."

Timesha Brooks

Present position in GCTM:  Member

Universities Attended and Degrees Held:

  • Spelman College BS Mathematics
  • GA State University MS Math/Biostatistics
  • GA State University EdS Educational Leadership

Professional Experience:

  • CEO I’m Mathematically Unique LLC (A.k.a IMUnique LLC) – March 2018 - Present
  • Math Implementation Specialist – Oconee RESA – August 2018 - Present
  • Instructional Coach – Clayton County Public Schools – December 2016 – May 2018
  • Adjunct Professor (Mathematics) – Atlanta Technical College 2012- 2016
  • Mathematics Teacher – Atlanta Public Schools – 2010 - 2012
  • Mathematics Teacher – Clayton County Public Schools 2002 - 2010

Other Professional Organizations and Offices:

  • NCTM
  • GCSM
  • NCSM

Honors and Awards:

  • Barnes & Noble – Teacher of the Year
  • Clayton State Finalist – Teacher of the Year

Candidate Statement:

"I am honored to have this opportunity to serve as the Vice President for Advocacy for GCTM. Throughout my career as an educator, it has always been my belief that ALL children can learn and be successful in mathematics. I have spent over half my career working with at risk students as an Alternative School Teacher as well as non-traditional students at Atlanta Technical College. My “northern star” has always been and always will be to show students that they are more than capable of understanding math given the proper instruction and with a little bit of grit.

One of the biggest challenges I feel that Math Education faces, is the fixed mindset culture that has been created around the topic of mathematics and the implicit biases that educators hold on to (sometimes unknowingly). I believe that having bold conversations, leaving judgment at the door, and working towards creating equitable opportunities for ALL students are the driving force behind what I do. As an advocate for GCTM, I have no qualms speaking truth to light, and taking the steps necessary to ensure that teachers have the training, information and opportunities to learn and grow."

Candidates for VP of Regional Services

Melanie Williamson

Present position in GCTM:  Metro East Regional Representative

Universities Attended and Degrees Held:

  • University of Alabama in Huntsville Bachelor of Science Degree
  • Mercer University Certification Only Program for Middle Grades Math and Science
  • Walden University Master of Science Degree in Education (Curriculum, Assessment, and Instruction)

Professional Experience:

  • Middle Grades Math Teacher (6 - 8) Lithonia Middle School in Dekalb County School District. (2005 - present)
  • Department Chair, Leadership Team Member, CSIP Team Member - Lithonia Middle School (2009 - Present)
  • Mathematics GACE Instructor - Dekalb County School District (2019 – Present)
  • Teacher Support Specialist/Coach (TSS/TSC) - DeKalb County School District (2016 - 2018)
  • Secondary Math Facilitator/Presenter - DeKalb County School District (2014 - Present)
  • Carnegie Learning Consultant for Dekalb County School District only (2014 - 2019)

GCTM Offices/Committees:

  • Executive Committee Member 2019 - Present
  • Metro East Regional Representative 2019 - Present
  • Membership Committee 2019 - Present
  • Nominations and Elections Committee

Other Professional Organizations and Offices:

  • The Organization of DeKalb Educators
  • Georgia Association of Educators

Honors and Awards:

  • Virtual Teacher of the Month - Lithonia Middle School October 2020
  • Curriculum Writing Team Recognition Dekalb County School District March 2017
  • Summa Cum Laude Walden University March 2013
  • Magna Cum Laude Mercer University May 2010

Candidate Statement:

"I am the Metro East Regional Representative for the Georgia Council of Teachers of Mathematics (GCTM). I am a member of the GCTM Executive Committee where I serve on the Membership Committee as well as the Nominations and Elections Committee. I will make an awesome candidate for the position of Vice President for Regional Services because I have excellent leadership skills and I love working with people. I enjoy building relationships, communicating, providing advice, and sharing new ideas with people. I have experience reviewing, developing, implementing, and facilitating activities and meetings. This wonderful opportunity will allow me to work with more people other than people in my school district or region. I am currently in my 16th year teaching middle grades mathematics at Lithonia Middle School in Dekalb County School District. I have experience teaching, training, mentoring and coaching educators as well as students. I have had the opportunity to train as a consultant for Carnegie Learning Textbook Company where I have provided and facilitated trainings for teachers in Dekalb County School District. I have also served as a Curriculum Writer, Secondary Math Facilitator, Math Ambassador, Teacher Support Coach and Mathematics GACE Instructor for Dekalb County School District. I am currently a member of the Leadership Team, CSIP Team, and Mathematics Department Chair at Lithonia Middle School. My vision is to make students feel comfortable with learning the math skills that will help them live an independent life and shape their future. Students should be given opportunities to think logically and critically and use appropriate technology. My main goal is to build relationships with students and build their confidence in mathematics as well as incorporate techniques and provide experiences that are relevant to their daily lives, the world around them, and careers that they may have in the future."

Taylor Thompson

Present position in GCTM:  Central East Regional Representative

Universities Attended and Degrees Held:

  • B.S. in Mathematics, Augusta University
  • B.A. in Foreign Language with a concentration in Spanish, Augusta University
  • Master of Arts in Teaching (Secondary Concentration), Augusta University

Professional Experience:

  • Evans High School, Math Teacher (2017 – Present)
  • edTPA Graduate Assistant, Augusta University College of Education (2016)

GCTM Offices/Committees:

  • Central East Regional Representative
  • Honors and Awards Committee

Other Professional Organizations and Offices:

  • PAGE
  • STEAMify Competition, Executive Board member

Honors and Awards:

  • PAGE Professional Scholarship, 2020
  • STAR Teacher, Evans High School, 2020
  • Claes Nobel Educator of Distinction, 2019
  • EdTech Innovator, Columbia County School District, 2018 - Present
  • Georgia Power New Teacher Induction Award Recipient, 2017
  • Augusta University’s Outstanding MAT Student of the Year, 2017
  • Augusta University’s Outstanding Mathematics Student of the Year, 2017

Candidate Statement:

"As educators around the world participate in and respond to the current re-envisioning of our classrooms, math teachers in Georgia are also on the precipice of revisions to our content standards. I, for one, am excited to keep learning– about teaching and about math– in this enhanced climate of collaboration! GCTM is poised to advocate for teachers during this time and to provide resources and networks that will empower all of us in the classroom. Planning for effective regional representation and for avenues of communication between representatives and members cannot be undervalued in a time in which we need one another’s expertise and insights to flourish, for the good of all of Georgia’s students. As Vice President of Regional Services, I would look forward torevisiting the goals, annual timeline, and measurable objectives of our regional representatives as we make those plans alongside GCTM’s Executive Committee. In the past year, I have served as Chair for the governing board of my religious organization and as an Executive Board member for a STEAM education competition. In these two diverse settings, I have honed my ability not only to prioritize the mission, vision, core values, and strategic imperatives of an organization throughout decision-making but also to communicate those elements effectively to onboarding colleagues and the organization’s members. Of even greater importance, I have learned how to create a pathway for response to community input in order to generate organizational growth. I would be honored to transfer these skills into this role in order to support our regional representatives for the benefit of our community of math educators."

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