PSCTM LogoPuget Sound Council of Teachers of Mathematics

About Us Joining PSCTM Contacts Newsletters NW Math Conference 

Puget Sound Council of Teachers of Mathematics is a professional organization dedicated to improving Math Teaching in the Puget Sound Region. PSCTM is an affiliate of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics and one of the organizations that rotates in hosting the Northwest Math Conferences in October.  We offer an annual scholarship to PSCTM members for the conference to honor Elden Egbers, who was a big supporter of attendance at the conferences.  Talk to one of the board members at the next dinner for more details.

If you teach Mathematics in the Puget Sound region, consider joining PSCTM, Washington State Mathematics Council, or both.
PSCTM was founded to encourage continual professional growth among local mathematics teachers. The organization sponsors three major activities during the year: a fall, a winter, and a spring dinner. A variety of topics of interest to K-12 math educators are presented at these events.
This quarterly dinner is a Zoom event. Registration is free and members (even those who join during registration) are eligible for entry in the Royal Penewell door prize lottery. Royal Penewell was one of the founding members of PSCTM, Washington State Mathematics Council (WSMC), and the Northwest Math Conference (NWMC). He was dedicated to supporting professional organizations for teachers and retired teachers. The prize, named in his honor, is a gift certificate for supplies and games to support your teaching.

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Join us for the presentation and receive up to 1 1/2 free clock hours.

Current and new members are entered in the drawing for the Royal Penewell Memorial Door Prize, a gift certificate to buy materials for your classroom.


Eventbrite Registration Link - PSCTM Fall Dinner 2023

Winter Dinner - Monday, February 26th, 2024

Peg Cagle

Do you dream of classrooms full of students loving math as much as you do? Dare to do more than dream. Come explore what we can do as teachers to ensure that each and every child in our classes is presented with myriad opportunities, reasons and routes to develop an appreciation for the complexity, simplicity, beauty, joy and wonder of mathematics.

Margaret "Peg" Cagle holds a Bachelor of Architecture and an M.A. in Secondary Mathematics Education. She has taught secondary mathematics for 25 years, has been National Board Certified since 1999, and was recognized as LA County's Teacher of the Year, Raytheon Math Hero, member of USA-Todays All-USA Teacher Team and recipient of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics Teaching. She has served on the board of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, provided input to the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, served as an Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellow on Capitol Hill, and testified before Congress. She also spent three years as a clinical faculty member in the department of Teaching and Learning at Vanderbilt University's Peabody College. Peg currently teaches high school mathematics in Los Angeles, is president-elect of the CA Math Council-South, and is director of the Teacher Leadership Program of the Institute for Advanced Study/Park City Math Institute.

Fall Dinner - Monday, October 23rd, 2023

Fall Dinner - Monday, October 23rd, 2023

Note the new venue: St. Madeline Sophie Church in Factoria Dean Willis

Artificial Intelligence has finally made its way into the classroom. Its most popular form is Chat GPT. Whether we like it or not AI is here to stay. As teachers, we should familiarize ourselves with this technology to enhance the skills we already have. How do we use all of its features to their full potential? Why is a writing tool like Chat GPT important in a Math classroom? What parts of the lesson planning process can Chat GPT handle? Dean has already used Chat GPT in his classrooms multiple times this year. With some basic rules to follow you can use it too, regardless of what you teach. (Plan to bring your laptop. Laptops are optional but highly recommended.)

Dean is in his 7th year teaching math, all but 1 of which were at Lake Washington High School where he currently teaches Algebra 1 and Algebra 2 Honors. When he finished his Masters in Curriculum and Instruction in 2021, his biggest passion became helping students make connections between math and the real world. In his class, story problems and projects are not just words around a familiar equation but problems that require research and critical thinking.

St. Madeleine Sophie Catholic School
14400 130th Pl SE Bellevue, WA 98006.

Social Hour at 5:00
Dinner at 5:30
Announcements at 6:15
Presentation from 6:30 to 7:30

The social hour, dinner, and presentation are open to all, but we need to have you pre-register so that we can order the right number of meals.  The cost for dinner is $15 for members or $20 for non-members, payable on the registration page. Members (even those who join at the door) are entered in the drawing for the Penewell Prize.

Free clock hours are provided by Puget Sound Council of Teachers of Mathematics.

Spring Dinner - Monday, May 5th, 2023

Anita Lenges and Anita Morales Garcia

What do we need to do to make our math learning spaces fertile for BiPoC thriving? How can we uncover that which we do not see? Anita Morales, Racing 2 Excellence and Social Justice Co-founder, and Anita Lenges, UW Math Teacher Educator, will explore with us how to support affirming joy in math learning.

Anita Lenges began teaching math, chemistry, and Physics in the Peace Corp in Kenya, followed by 10 years teaching JH math, then a Masters in Math Ed, PhD in Math Teacher Education, UW Excellence in Teaching award, Post Doc in preparing teachers for diverse urban schools, The Evergreen State faculty, and now UW Clinical Professor working with K-12 math teachers, coaches, principals, and district leaders to support ambitious equitable math teaching.
Anita Garcia Morales - Anita's experience being the perpetual immigrant student in class and sensing the "otherness" to which her family and ethnic group were subjected to were what shaped Anita's racial, class, and cultural lens. The common thread that runs through all that Anita does is her focus on Social Justice and Racial Equity. Racing 2 Equity (R2E), Co-founder, Class Action Senior Trainer, Courage & Renewal Circle of Trust Facilitator , Positive Discipline Parent & Educator Certified Trainer, Personal Parenting coach

Social Hour at 5:00
Dinner at 5:30
Announcements at 6:15
Presentation from 6:30 to 7:30

The social hour, dinner, and presentation are open to all, but we need to have you pre-register so that we can order the right number of meals.  The cost for dinner is $15 for members or $20 for non-members, payable on the registration page. Members (even those who join at the door) are entered in the drawing for the Penewell Prize.

Free clock hours are provided by Puget Sound Council of Teachers of Mathematics.

Winter Dinner - Monday, February 6th, 2023

Rona Gurkewitz

You do not want to miss this in person event! Come do Origami with Rona! Rona will lead us through an original Modular Origami book task of her own design. She will share her experiences using it with fifth grade girls where members of the Psychology Department determined that this activity significantly improved their scores on a mental rotation spatial relations test (statistically significant). In addition, she will take us through some easy folding of polyhedra models made from square and triangular simple gyroscope modules. The folds show ways of being creative in designing models. The same process (algorithm) that makes a module on a square makes a module on a triangle. The models, based on a cube and icosahedron, show their duals; the octahedron and the dodecahedron, in the mountain folds.

Rona is currently on the Advisory Board of SUMM, The Seattle Universal Math Museum and a Professor Emerita at Western Connecticut State University, teaching Website Production remotely, part time. She has taught Math, Computer Science and Origami since the 1970s. She has a lot of experience teaching remedial math and has taught Computer Science classes in discrete math, algorithms and coding. She founded and ran a Math Clinic tutoring center. Rona was associated with Lilliam Oppenheimer and the Origami Center in NY, now Origami USA. Since 1996, she has written four books on modular origami polyhedra that have sold over 150,000 copies. Rona has a BA and MA in math from UCLA. She also has an MS and MPhil in Computer Science from the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences at NYU.

Spring Dinner - Monday, May 9th, 2022

Tihanyi Timea

Being a neuroscientist turned artist, I often contemplate how we get to know things, especially when it comes to dealing with forms of abstraction. I will introduce three ideas, iteration, glitch, and embodiment, through three projects: a collaboration with a mathematician on ceramic 3D printing using elementary cellular automata algorithms, a recent body of artwork entitled Object Permanence, and a new art & math course developed with the help of a Mellon Foundation grant at the University of Washington. In dialogue with the attendees, I will discuss how these ideas intersect in a research practice and form a bridge between art and mathematics.
Timea Tihanyi is a Teaching Professor in Interdisciplinary Visual Arts at the University of Washington, and the founder and director of Slip Rabbit, a technoceramics research and mentoring space in Seattle. Tihanyi serves on the Advisory Board of the Seattle Universal Math Museum, and has been exhibiting, speaking, and teaching master courses around the world. Her exhibition, Object Permanence, is on view until May 29, 2022, at the Bellevue Arts Museum.
Timea Tihanyi is a Hungarian born interdisciplinary visual artist and ceramist living and working in Seattle, Washington. Tihanyi holds a Doctor of Medicine degree from Semmelweis University, Budapest, Hungary; a BFA in Ceramics from the Massachusetts College of Art in Boston; and an MFA in ceramics from the University of Washington.

Winter Dinner - Monday, February 7th, 2022

Arlene Crum

After diving into mathematics course-taking and the methods and materials within them, OSPI is working with educators across the state to improve both the way that we are teaching mathematics and the student access to experience it in meaningful ways.

Arlene will share information about the new Modern Algebra II course in development (available for pilot in 2022-23) as well as the Instructional Materials Review Project that will publish a list of the curricular materials aligned with Washington Educational Priorities.

Bring questions about these projects and other questions about state mathematics.

Arlene Crum is the Director of Mathematics at the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction.

As a military spouse she lived, experienced and taught mathematics across the country, but is now happy to be firmly planted in Washington. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Secondary Mathematics Education at the University of Maryland, Master of Education in Administration and Supervision at Bowie State University, and Principal Certification at Pacific Lutheran University.

Her work includes development of instructional materials to improve student achievement through implementation of the Standards for Mathematical Practice, and to increase student connections between mathematics and other subject and career areas. Arlene partners regularly with Regional Mathematics Coordinators, Career and Technical Educators and national colleagues to improve access to high quality instruction for all students through encouraging equitable scheduling and teaching practices and developing support for multiple graduation pathways.

Past Dinners:

Fall Dinner - Monday, October 18th, 2021

Francis Su

You might think of math as a set of skills, like doing arithmetic or factoring a quadratic. But math is much more about building a set of virtues: like persistence, creativity, and a competence to solve problems you've never seen before. All of us have deep human longings, such as for exploration, beauty, and truth and I'll explain how math can (and should) meet those desires. and how the resulting virtues will serve you well no matter what you do in life and no matter what life throws at you. An incarcerated man---now my friend---has helped me see this more clearly than ever before.

Francis Su is the Benediktsson-Karwa Professor of Mathematics at Harvey Mudd College and a former president of the Mathematical Association of America. In 2013, he received the Haimo Award, a nationwide teaching prize for college math faculty, and in 2018 he won teh Halmos-Ford writing award. His work has been featured in Quanta Magazine, Wired, and The New York Times. His book Mathematics for Human Flourishing (2020), winner of the 2021 Euler Book Prize and finalist for the Phi Beta Kappa Book Award in Science, is an inclusive vision of what math is, who it is for, and why anyone should learn it.

Spring Dinner - Monday, May 17th, 2021

James Stallworth

Like a leading coefficient, our students may be invisible, and their presence taken for granted. But in doing so are we, like that leading coefficient, ignoring their identity and contribution to the whole equation? With all that is happening in the world around us, we would miss a great opportunity to celebrate our individual students. Or miss out on a chance to advance conversations in our classrooms by embracing the role that equity and diversity should play in mathematics and mathematics education.

7th Grade Principal, Princeton Community Middle School
James is an Ohio kid that finished his high school experience at boarding school and received a BA from the University of Pennsylvania before returning to the Midwest to pursue his dream of working with adolescents in math and science. Armed with degrees, diplomas, and licenses from a prestigious high school, an Ivy League undergrad, and a local university, he started a career as a secondary mathematics teacher in Cincinnati Public Schools.
More than once, he was the very first African American male mathematics teacher many of his students had ever had. Since more than 90 percent of his students looked just like him, that information had an impact. It was not just important that he taught his students that HE could do mathematics; it became important that he showed them that THEY could do mathematics.
In his 20+ years in education, James has taught about every secondary math course, served as department chair, curriculum council rep and writer, union vice president, and PD leader. Currently he is the 7th grade principal at Princeton Community MS in Cincinnati, the most diverse school in the state of Ohio. For each of those years, he would open his classes saying, "By the end of this school year, you may not love mathematics as much as I do. But I can guarantee that we will move the needle away from hatred of the discipline. Together." Isn't it time that we work on the same thing with our students?

Winter Dinner - Monday, February 8th, 2021

Mikaela Wingard-Phillips

Play has the magical quality of transforming our perspectives as well as that of our students. Did you know that all different types of play release positive neurochemicals such as Dopamine, Oxytocin, Endorphins, and Serotonin? That's what I like to call a daily DOSE of play; and it can do some other great things for us as a learning community too, increasing curiosity, creativity, communication, and cooperation. Great tools to cultivate in the quest for growth mindset and honestly helping each person find their inner mathematician.

MIT Secondary Mathematics, Math 'n Stuff General Manager, Certified Play Expert, Founder of Playing on Purpose
Mikaela is a born and raised Seattleite who has experienced education and play from many perspectives. Third in a family of six, her oddly formal and informal educational journey has taken her from a Catholic parish school, to home- and un-schooling, to a private college-prep high school, small liberal arts college, teaching assistantship abroad, and finally graduate school in secondary teacher education in Mathematics.
After a challenging graduate school experience, Mikaela took a job at her mother's retail store, Math 'n' Stuff, and rediscovered play and joy through games, ultimate frisbee, and community. At the specialty toy retail trade association, ASTRA, Mikaela was elated to find there is professional development for play. She is now just as proud to say she is a Certified Play Expert as to claim a Master’s in Teaching for Secondary Mathematics.
One of the most memorable moments in the training was the quote from play researcher Brian Sutton-Smith: "The opposite of play is not work; the opposite of play is depression." The science and study of play is relatively nascent, but the findings, especially with respect to learning are clear -- play helps us connect, communicate, collaborate, grow, and be gracious with ourselves and others; and includes the emotional and physical benefits directly conferred by play.

Fall Dinner - Monday, October 19th, 2020

Saraswati Noel and Starlie Chinen

Saraswati Noel and Starlie Chinen, Phd. Candidates at UW

Equity work in any field is principled work. That is, when one does work that is committed to equity, they are guided by a certain set of principles. One principle that guides our work is normalizing discomfort and sitting with tension and uncertainty. Also, we believe it is crucial to explicitly state our commitments and name how they guide our work in unpacking and disrupting injustices in our classrooms. In this session, you will begin by challenging and reframing common assumptions about mathematics. Next, we will begin to explicitly outline our commitments to equity in mathematics education, positioning this as an on-going process. We will interrogate who those commitments serve and map these commitments onto practices at the institutional, cultural, and individual levels.

Starlie Chinen and Saraswati Noel are doctoral students in mathematics education at the University of Washington. Prior to this work, Starlie was a high school math teacher in Los Angeles and a Middle School environmental sustainability educator in Honolulu and Saraswati worked as a middle/high school math teacher at Seattle World School. Starlie's work now centers around how to support the development of a teaching force committed to equity through work with middle school math classrooms and teacher education programs. Saraswati's work is focused on experiences of recent refugees in secondary math classrooms.

Spring Dinner - Monday, May 18th, 2020

Supporting Math at Home

Dan Finkel, Founder, Math For Love

Right now more math than ever is taking place at home. How do we help parents develop the tools they need to have productive math conversations with their kids? How can we use play as a way to eep math time joyful and light in these heavy times?
Were all figuring it out as we go! I'll share some of what I've tried in my communications with parents, and some fo the positive opportunities I see for math at home in this challenging moment.
"After completing my PhD in mathematics and the University of Washington, I decided that teaching math is the most important contribution I can make to the world. I've devoted much of my life to understanding and teaching the motivation, history, aesthetics, and deep structure of mathematics. Math is a maligned and mistreated subject, often mis-taught, often misunderstood. My goal is to give everyone the chance to fall in love with mathematics. Whether you excel or struggle, whether you're a teacher or student, parent or child, if you want to learn what math is really about, I can help." --- Dan Finkel