Twenty-three years ago, Deanna Brajcich started her career teaching Grade 9/10 Math and French. She gradually changed grades and schools to find herself teaching Grade 5! In addition to working with students, she enjoys working with adult learners. She was a Numeracy Coordinator mentoring teachers, she is a member of the Island Numeracy Network on Vancouver Island, and she has worked on Math initiatives with the Ministry of Education. She designs and facilitates Advanced EFL programs for Foreign English teachers at the University of Victoria and in China. She is also a Queen’s University online instructor in Elementary Mathematics.
Deanna’s life also centres around her husband and her two teenage boys and spends her time following them around to practices and games. She enjoys many different fitness activities, such as running and yoga, but also likes to relax in solitude with a book.
Michael Pruner is a high school mathematics teacher from North Vancouver, BC and the past president of the BC Association of Mathematics Teachers. Teaching for 23 years, he has always had an ever-changing mix of Math 8 through to AP Calculus and has recently discovered a passion for developing Thinking Classrooms. Michael believes that mathematics is a social endeavour and is best learned through collaborative activity in rich tasks. Through the BCAMT, Michael has had the privilege of visiting classrooms all across BC sharing his experience and knowledge of developing and maintaining Thinking Classrooms.
Outside of teaching math, Michael likes to spend time outdoors with his family cycling, skiing, and camping.
Marc Garneau is a Numeracy Helping Teacher for the Surrey School District, in which capacity he supports the teaching, learning, and assessing of mathematics across all Grades K-12. No matter what grade or concept, Marc likes to bring the lens, “Who’s Doing the Math?” to the learning experiences. In addition to the BCAMT Executive, Marc also serves as a member of the K-12 BC Math Curriculum Committee, and he is the Canadian Regional Director for the NCSM (math ed leadership organization).
Marc’s greatest source of professional development comes through engaging in the blogs and tweets of the #MTBOS (Math Twitter Blog-o-Sphere). Marc’s hobbies include some TV and movies, and any activity that will take him into the beautiful nature of BC. Oh, and beer, Marc likes beer – the darker the better. Marc has 4 daughters, who in addition to being a lot smarter than he was at their age, are also inspiring through their music and dance. Although Marc has been known to break into Irish dancing during social events.
Jennifer Carter is a Curriculum Coordinator for Vernon School District, working collaboratively with K to 12 teachers, primarily in the area of Numeracy. She has taught Grades K to 8 in Salmon Arm and Vernon, has been an Elementary Vice Principal, Instructor at UBCO, and is a member of the Provincial Numeracy Network.
Jen spends her free time keeping up with her two daughters’ busy sports schedules, golfing with her husband, gardening, pottery, walking her dog, Chevy, and relaxing at her cabin on the Shuswap.
Colin McLellan has taught at McNair Secondary in Richmond since 2006 and has been the BCAMT secretary since 2011. His favourite subjects are History and Geography, but he thinks Math is good too.
Elementary School Representatives:
Sandra Ball has taught in the Surrey School District for over 35 years with her major focus on Primary Education, and is currently working as the Inner-City Early Learning Helping Teacher. Over the past five years, she has worked collaboratively with teachers to support the most ‘at promise’ students in regards to Literacy and Numeracy. She believes that all children are capable learners whose strengths, interests and passions need to be nurtured. Along with the classroom experience, she has worked with curriculum and assessment teams to develop and support the revised curriculum, and various publishers to create supporting resources.
Family is at the heart of Sandra’s life. Being a wife and Mom of two amazing young men is the most important role she plays. She loves watercolour painting, creating, gardening and spending quality time with family and friends.
Jennifer Barker is an Early Numeracy Teacher and the Changing Results for Young Mathematicians Advocate in the Surrey School District. Prior to these roles, she taught Grades K – 5 in the Richmond School District and worked at UBC as a Faculty Advisor. Jen is a passionate educator who believes mathematics should be engaging, meaningful, and promote deep conceptual thinking!
When Jen is not teaching, she can be found baking in the kitchen and enjoying time with her family and friends. Her husband Scott and children Megan and Matthew (her m&m’s) keep her focused, present and mindful of what matters in life.
“Math was too much answer time and not enough learning time.” ~ a six year old’s response to why he didn’t like math was enough to spur my pursuit of continued math professional development. I completed my Master’s through SFU with a thesis titled: Learning from Learners.
My great passion is being available for learning alongside adults and students through my role as Curriculum Support Teacher K-7 in the beautiful Comox Valley. I aspire to help children, adults and families to find healthy perceptions of themselves as mathematicians. I view math lessons as great ‘learning time’.
Secondary School Representatives:
Darien Allan began her teaching career at New Westminster Secondary, teaching all ranges of secondary mathematics courses and in the International Baccalaureate program. After 12 years with the district, she moved closer to home and now teaches at an independent school in West Vancouver. In addition to being a full time teacher, Darien has recently completed her PhD at Simon Fraser University.
Lifelong learning is one of Darien’s core beliefs, and is something she tries to encourage in her students, and her young daughter. She strives to help her students develop an appreciation for the wonder of mathematics and actively searches for opportunities to provide her students with ways to experience it. Frequently on the go, she really appreciates quality time with her daughter, and the rare quiet moment to relax with a good book.
Brad Epp: For the past 3 years, Brad has been a district resource teacher for MyEducation BC. Prior to that he has taught Math 8 – 12 in the Kamloops/Thompson School DIstrict. Brad has worked on several ministry committees including curriculum reviews and provincial exam marking teams. Brad has served on the BCAMT executive for the past 10 years and has held many portfolios. Currently, he is the chair of the BCAMT grants committee and the membership coordinator.
Josh Giesbrecht is a math and computing teacher with a background in computer engineering, programming, and game development. He has been working in the Abbotsford School District since 2010.
Josh enjoys being a bad influence on his three boys by playing video games with them. He also like to dabble in things like digital visual art, playing guitar, writing and continuing to mess around with coding small fun things. Growing up in Manitoba, Josh is bound by law to never complain about the weather in the Lower Mainland.
Chris Hunter has been teaching in Surrey for twenty years. For the last seven, Chris has been collaboratively working with—and learning from–teachers of mathematics from Kindergarten to Calculus; it is his privilege to be invited to teach in many different classrooms throughout Surrey. Prior to that, Chris taught every combination of grade level/pathway high school math course. Chris is passionate about teaching through problem solving, providing opportunities for students to develop and communicate their mathematical ideas. Chris is also an active member of the “MathTwitterBlogoSphere,” an online community of math educators. Outside of the classroom, Chris enjoys spending time with his family; Chris and his wife—a Grade 1/2 teacher—are parents of two young mathematicians.
Deanna Lightbody works as a District Teacher supporting literacy and numeracy in Langley. She has been teaching for 28 years.
Deanna loves to cook and entertain with her family and friends. Her husband is a classroom teacher in the Surrey School District.
Minnie Liu is a mathematics teacher in the Vancouver School District. She is trained in chemistry, biology, and mathematics but mathematics has always been closest to her heart. Minnie is also a doctoral student at Simon Fraser University. She currently focuses on using a variety of activities to build a thinking classroom and to promote her students’ numeracy skills. Minnie enjoys hanging out with friends and family, coffee and dessert dates, cooking, and practising yoga. Oh, and retail therapy.
Dr. Peter Liljedahl is an Associate Professor of Mathematics Education in the Faculty of Education at Simon Fraser University. Peter is a former high school mathematics teacher who has kept his research interest and activities close to the classroom. He consults regularly with teachers, schools, school districts, and ministries of education on issues of teaching and learning, thinking classrooms, assessment, and numeracy.
Sean Chorney is an assistant professor at Simon Fraser University. He is constantly writing mathematics tests to remain in this position. He graduated with a Physics degree in 1988 and then worked for 4 years as geophysicist. He decided to try teaching for a year or two and has never looked back. He was hired as a mathematics teacher in Burnaby and joined the BCAMT Executive early in his career thanks to his teaching mentor, Ivan Johnson. Ivan played a key role in shaping Sean’s thoughts around education.
Outside of work, Sean has a teenage daughter who continues to keep his wife and him busy – in a good way. He loves coaching, playing racquet sports as well as playing jazz guitar.
Dr. Peter Liljedahl (bio above)
Susan Robinson: With degrees in both mathematics and English, Susan sent her resume out into the world and landed in New Zealand as an English teacher. After working her way to the west coast of Canada via Australia, she gradually found herself teaching more and more mathematics. For the past ten years, she has taught math 9 through calculus on Salt Spring Island, while becoming involved in several regional and provincial numeracy initiatives. Throughout her SFU Masters in Arts Education program, she brought math into her art classes; now, she looks for any opportunity to bring art into her math classes. Susan is excited to be a part of the Vector editorial team, and brings with her previous experience as an editor for The Claremont Review, a literary journal for young writers.
Susan has learned a lot about making mistakes while knitting, loves to knit socks for her husband despite there only being a couple of weeks each winter cold enough to wear them, and is inspired by the creativity of her children. She can be found baking sourdough bread and making jam throughout the summer, in-between visits to the lake.
Independent School Representative
Richard DeMerchant has worked in the Northwest Territories, Nunavut and Alberta before settling in British Columbia. While he has spent the majority of his career as a classroom teacher he has also worked as a math, science and technology coordinator at the provincial and territorial levels as well as a vice principal. Richard is currently teaching grades 6 to 8 at St Michaels University School in Victoria and serves as the Independent School Representative for the BCAMT.
Richard spends his free time supporting his son as a Scouter and with his sports activities. He enjoys many different outdoor activities including geocaching, kayaking, and hiking.