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Regional Leadership Teams Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Thursday, 10 January 2008

With each of the three partner universities, East Carolina University, Fayetteville State University and the University of North Carolina Wilmington serving two or more school districts in their respective regions, the Regional Leadership Teams bring together school district personnel, university faculty and the Mathematics and Science Education Network hubs to monitor the progress of NC-PIMS in their respective region and to communicate directly with the Project Director and other members of the project management team, and the project evaluator to ensure timely responses to regional needs and to work toward continuous improvement. The chairs of the Regional Leadership Teams serve on the project management team.


The following information is taken from the NC-PIMS Year 5 Annual Report. For a more in-depth look at current NC-PIMS activities, the full report can be viewed here.

Three Regional Leadership Teams (RLTs)

The Teams, which are chaired, respectively, by the Directors of three IHE Centers of the NC Mathematics and Science Education Network, provide important communication links among the Partnership team members (district contacts, mathematics and mathematics education faculty, members of District Leadership Teams (DLTs), and principals currently in the Lenses on Learning professional development).  The teams meet to assess the health of the initiative, make suggestions for improvements, identify issues that need addressing, and share strategies that work within the region to maintain and strengthen the Partnership.  These regional teams of IHEs and local schools represent affinity groupings that hold promise over time for sustaining the energy and direction of the NC-PIMS Partnership ideals through degree and certification programs with school districts that support mathematics curriculum leadership in schools. The NC-PIMS Project Director, Principal Investigator, and other members of the Management Team, Project Evaluators, and the region-based NC-PIMS Facilitators also participate in the meetings.  The following descriptions highlight the three fall 2006 meetings of the Regional Leadership Teams:


Regional Leadership Team Meeting—Fayetteville State University (FSU)
One of the special aspects of the RLT meeting held at Fayetteville State University was the introduction of Dr. Kimberly Smith-Burton, the newly selected Director of the Mathematics and Science Education Center.  Dr. Burton was recently chosen to fill the vacant position and this was her first opportunity to chair the group.  Dr. Burton, coincidentally, worked last year with the project as a Reviewer in the course development process and also has participated in previously held Regional Leadership Team meetings. Dr. Burton is on the mathematics education faculty and is currently serving as Interim Chair of Middle Grades, Secondary and Special Education.  The meeting agenda featured updates on project activities, evaluation summaries and opportunities for those in attendance to discuss the successes of the previous year and plans for Year 5.  Facilitator Joyce Hodges gave an update on the Lenses on Learning course that involved 24 administrators from Cumberland County Schools, as well as the start-up of the course in Onslow and Columbus Counties. Co-Principal Investigator Sid Rachlin described some options for teacher professional development and the secondary level course to be offered in Year 5. Facilitator Lori Stancill outlined the four priorities of the Student Encouragement/ Parental Involvement program for Year 5.  Ms. Deborah Bartz from UNC Greensboro described some of the preliminary evaluation results for the Cumberland and Hoke school districts.  Faculty and administrators from FSU also participated in the meeting.  They included Dr. Kwami Tuprah, Mathematics Professor; Dr. Genevieve Knight, Distinguished Professor of Mathematics Education; and Dr. Daniel Okunbor, Assistant Dean of the College of Basic and Applied Sciences.  Ms. Shannon Register, Hoke County Secondary Mathematics and Science Curriculum Specialist, discussed some important changes in their district with the newly appointed Superintendent, Dr. Freddie Williamson, and newly assigned NC-PIMS District Contact, Assistant Superintendent Dr. Lora Hodges.  There was general discussion of the need to sustain the energy and momentum of the project and to seek long-range funding sources to support the continuation of comprehensive teacher professional development that is directed toward the NC Standard Course of Study.  Dr. Knight gave closing remarks about mathematics education reform, focusing on the challenge of project accountability by measuring impact on student achievement.



Regional Leadership Team Meeting—East Carolina University (ECU)

ECU Regional Leadership Team Meeting- at the Willis Building, November 2, 2006

Dr. Karen Dawkins, Director of the NC-MSEN Center for Science, Mathematics and Technology Education at East Carolina University, convened the Regional Leadership Team for its fall meeting on November 2, 2006.  Representatives from five school districts (Craven, Pitt, Wayne, Weldon City and Wilson), representatives from ECU, as well as NC-PIMS Facilitators and four NC-PIMS Management Team members participated in the three-hour meeting held at the Willis Building. 

The agenda began with project updates and announcements, and discussions of options for the next year of professional development. The central focus of the meeting dealt with considerations of sustaining some of the main features of the project.  Some of the main highlights of the meeting included:

  • Recognition, by Facilitator Alice Brown, of the school districts’ Lead Teachers who conducted sessions at the October 2006 NC Council of Teachers of Mathematics Conference in Greensboro. From the ECU region, six Lead Teachers held major sessions and 17 other Lead Teachers conducted mini-sessions on teaching mathematics.
  • Evaluation results reported for the regions’ school districts by NC-PIMS Evaluator Deborah Bartz noted that teachers participating in the most recent 12-hour workshops had made measurable gains in learning mathematics content.

  • The Project Director reported on the progress of the three classes of Lenses on Learning that are serving more than 80 principals and assistant principals in Cumberland, Columbus and Onslow.

  • Possible options for the 12-hour workshop to be provided in the 2007-2008 Academic Year were described by Professional Development Coordinator and Co-PI, Dr. Sid Rachlin. Dr. Rachlin will obtain districts’ input about their preferences to determine the best way to handle the professional development options for next year.  Dr. Rachlin also described the Mathematical Modeling course to be offered to Secondary Lead Teachers this summer.

  • Lead Teachers Ms. Kellye Roberts (Pitt County) and Ms. Nikki Jackson (Wayne County) described the workshop materials and the benefits of having all the necessary materials for the teachers in each school provided by NC-PIMS.

  • Discussion of ways to support the professional development of teachers and the Cascade Model [Facilitator---Lead Teachers---Classroom Teachers]:  Using Title II funds to support the Lead Teacher in training during the summer; forming a consortium with ECU (its MST Center) to support Facilitators and university faculty in the continuous work of mathematics (and science) teacher professional development workshops and training of Lead Teachers.  Several districts appeared willing to partner with ECU in these efforts to sustain this model.


Regional Leadership Team Meeting—UNC Wilmington (UNCW)

Attendees at the Regional Leadership Team Meeting, November 30th, 2006

The UNCW Regional Leadership Team meeting was held in the new Fisher Student Center from 12:30 to 3:30 pm on November 30, 2006.  Representatives from all four NC-PIMS district partners and UNCW faculty from mathematics and mathematics education participated.  In addition, two non-NC-PIMS partners, Pender County Schools (Karen Hill and Dr. Allison Sholar) and the Department of Defense Schools at Camp Lejeune (Ms. Mary Hendrickson, Instructional Systems Specialist), were represented.  Several members of the NC-PIMS Management and Evaluation Teams also participated.  The Science and Mathematics Education Center (SMEC) Director Karen Shafer presided over the meeting with assistance from Leadership Coordinator Carol Midgett and Facilitator Eleanor Pusey.  The agenda included opportunities for Lead Teachers and university faculty to:  (1) discuss their experiences and (2) engage district partners and project management in conversations about the impact of project strategies on classrooms and the professional development activities.  To begin, participants were engaged in a “gallery walk” with a beautiful collection of colorful posters, each depicting a Lead Teacher or university faculty member, with photos of their classes or workshops and briefly stated highlights of their NC-PIMS experiences. Lead Teachers and faculty were stationed by their posters while district representatives, Facilitators and members of the Management Team “toured” the exhibits and listened to these project participants expound upon their experiences in greater detail.  Afterwards there was a general discussion of highlights and impressions of the “gallery walk.” 

Faculty members, Dr. Gabriel Lugo and Dr. Dargan Frierson, described the impact of the NC-PIMS experience on their teaching in their university mathematics and statistics courses, and expressed interest in finding ways to promote more involvement in K-12 education among colleagues in their department.  Some of the Lead Teachers expressed their appreciation for the project having made university mathematics faculty accessible to them.  Dr. Lugo responded to them saying that his experience with the Lead Teachers and working on course development had made him a better teacher. Dr. Jeff Brown (Mathematics) and Dr. Shelby Morge (Mathematics Education) also were participants. Dr. Brown has served as a course developer, as well as an instructor for the Geometry course.  Dr. Morge is currently working with the team to develop the Mathematical Modeling course for 6-12 Lead Teachers and will be a course instructor this summer.

A discussion about the impact of NC-PIMS project activities on student learning was especially rich in detail.  Lead Teachers who participated in the meeting were Maggie Lineberger, North Brunswick High; Cindy Gulledge, South Brunswick High; Rubenia Graham, Wallace Elementary (Duplin); Tonya Thompson, West Brunswick High; Michael Elder, Parkwood Elementary (Onslow); Alison Miller, Southwest High (Onslow); Shelley Alford, Richlands Primary (Onslow); Malette Godwin, Columbus County AIG Specialist;  and Michelle Powell, West Columbus High.

Ms. Carla Ross, Director of Elementary Schools for Onslow County, gave a good accounting of ways in which the Lead Teacher model is being supported in her district. With a view to the future, she spoke about how the district will continue supporting the mathematics and science Lead Teachers in their schools.  Ms. Ross reported that Onslow responded to the withdrawal of NSF support of the science aspect of NC-PIMS by providing stipends to its Lead Teachers to continue fulfilling the need for science professional development in their district. Their intention is to support mathematics in the same way after the end of current funding.  Onslow is the third district partner that has indicated its intention to continue, with local support, the Lead Teacher concept.  Wayne and Cumberland counties have reported similar strategies for sustaining project momentum. 

Dr. Karen Wetherill, Associate Dean for Outreach Alliances, from the UNCW Watson School of Education and Dr. Randall Shaver, Assistant Superintendent of Duplin County Schools, also participated in the meeting. Dr. Wetherill plays a key role at the University for establishing and sustaining a strong working relationship with all districts in the UNCW service area.  Dr. Shaver has joined the Duplin County school district recently, along with the new superintendent, Dr. Wiley Doby. He found the meeting with Dr. Wetherill timely for making connections for future professional development support.  Former NC-PIMS Facilitator Karen Hill and one of her current colleagues from Pender County, Dr. Allison Sholar, Assistant Superintendent of Instruction, also were in attendance.

Among the many energizing items on the agenda, the highlight was having the Lead Teachers talk about their experiences with the initiative—most of them have been with NC-PIMS since the beginning—and their enthusiasm and inspiration as teachers.  All of them seemed to look forward to the next phase of professional development that begins in January or February 2007.  Without a doubt, these Lead Teachers represent their profession in the highest form—confident and dedicated to their students.

SMEC Director Karen Shafer, NC-PIMS Site Coordinator Lynn Allen, and their staff are to be congratulated, once again, for arranging and conducting a well-run and well- attended Regional Leadership Team meeting. The Fisher Student Center at UNC Wilmington was an excellent venue for this important meeting. 

As in Year 4, the primary challenge addressed at all three Regional Leadership Team Meetings during Year 5 has been sustainability of project components.  The specific focus of the districts has been on: (1) how to best establish ways of working together to strengthen the collaborative use of resources, and (2) other options that they might have for supporting mathematics professional development and teacher leadership in individual schools (K-5) and at the district level (6-12).  According to the partner districts’ representatives, a common benefit of NC-PIMS has been the commitment to professional development for a longer period of time than districts customarily had for implementing a coherent program for teachers.  District Partners indicate consistently across the three regions that this commitment coupled with the three-tiered program, i.e. Cascade Model, has provided a working structure that has proved to be a very promising approach to professional development.

Faced with the end of current funding from the National Science Foundation, the Regional Leadership Teams have continued to explore possible district and university-based mechanisms that could support an adapted version of the current Cascade Model of professional development.  Some of the most promising suggestions that have been discussed involve establishing new certification programs at the regional (partner) universities and a commitment among neighboring districts to the common use of Lead Teacher and Facilitator resources.  New certification programs could support the maintenance of school-based Lead Teachers, as well as regionally positioned Facilitators under a Cascade Model similar to NC-PIMS. At the same time, several districts have proactively found ways to adapt the model through the state level, US Department of Education-supported MSP programs, as is the case with NC-PIMS partners Onslow and Columbus School Districts.


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NC-PIMS Facilitators examine an array of topics and challenges within contemporary Mathematics Education and strategies for providing quality mathematics professional development to educators.

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NC-PIMS is a comprehensive partnership initiative awarded to the University of North Carolina General Administration by the National Science Foundation, Award No. EHR-0226877 and the US Department of Education, Award No. S366A020001. Opinions expressed within the website are those of the contributors and not necessarily those of UNC-GA, the NSF or the US DOE.

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