Math Institute - Meet Our Advisors

Meet Our Mathematics Advisors

Led by National and State Experts

The Mathematics Institute of Wisconsin would not be where we are today without the help of our advisors. From helping us foster best practices to advancing mathematics education, these field leaders demonstrate leading knowledge, collaboration, and innovation. As educators themselves, they understand the unique nature of the student – both youth and adult learners. And they have invested their knowledge in our Professional Development programs.

National Advisors

Dr. Douglas Clements

Douglas Clements, Kennedy Endowed Chair and Professor at the University of Denver, is a researcher and curriculum developer who directs research funded by the National Science Foundation and the Institute of Education Sciences. He has published over 130 refereed research studies, 23 books, 87 chapters, and 300 additional publications. Doug has served on the U.S. President’s National Mathematics Advisory Panel, the Common Core State Standards committee of the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers, the National Research Council’s Committee on Early Mathematics, the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics national curriculum and Principles and Standards committees, and is a co-author of each of their reports. A prolific and widely cited scholar, he has earned external grant support totaling over $20 million, including major grants from the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, and the Institute of Education Sciences of the U.S. Department of Education. Doug received his Ph.D. in Elementary Education in 1883 from the University at Buffalo, The State University of New York.

Skip Fennell

Dr. Francis (Skip) Fennell

Dr. Francis (Skip) Fennell is a mathematics educator and has experience as a classroom teacher, a principal, and a supervisor of instruction. He is currently Professor Emeritus at McDaniel College, serves as the Director of the Elementary Mathematics Specialist & Teacher Leaders (ems&tl) Project, and is a Past President of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM). Dr. Fennell is widely published in professional journals and textbooks related to elementary and middle-grade mathematics education, and has authored chapters in yearbooks and resource books published by NCTM. In addition, he has played key leadership roles in the Research Council for Mathematics Learning, Mathematical Sciences Education Board, National Science Foundation, Maryland Mathematics Commission, United States National Commission for Mathematics Instruction, and Association for Mathematics Teacher Educators. Dr. Fennel received his Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction: Mathematics Education from Pennsylvania State University.

William McCallum

Dr. William G. McCallum

Dr. William G. McCallum is the co-founder and CEO of Illustrative Mathematics. He is also an Emeritus Distinguished Professor of Mathematics at The University of Arizona, where he researches number theory and arithmetical algebraic geometry, authors textbooks, and advises researchers and policymakers. Bill’s work as a lead writer of the Common Core State Standards in Mathematics earned him the Distinguished Public Service Award from the American Mathematical Society and the Dolciani Award from the Mathematical Association of America. In 2005, Bill received the Director’s Award for Distinguished Teaching Scholars from the National Science Foundation. Bill received his Ph.D. in Mathematics from Harvard University in 1984.

Maggie McGatha

Dr. Maggie B. McGatha

Dr. Maggie B. McGatha is the owner of M2 Consulting providing professional development in mathematics coaching. She is also a Training Associate for the Thinking Collaborative providing professional development in Cognitive CoachingSM and Adaptive Schools. Maggie is a former middle school mathematics teacher (14 years) and professor of mathematics education at the university level (18 years). She is the author of numerous articles and books focused on mathematics education and mathematics coaching. She has served in key leadership roles in the Kentucky Council of Teachers of Mathematics, the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, and the Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators. Maggie graduated from Morehead State University (KY) with a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education.  She earned her Master’s Degree in Elementary Education (emphasis in Mathematics Education) from Austin Peay State University (TN) and a Doctorate in Mathematics Education from Vanderbilt University (TN).

Denise Spangler

Dr. Denise A. Spangler

Dr. Denise A. Spangler is the Dean of the College of Education, Bebe Aderhold Professor in Elementary Education, and Professor of Mathematics Education at the University of Georgia. A recipient of the Richard B.  Russel Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, Dr. Spangler teaches undergraduate mathematics methods courses for preservice elementary education majors. At the graduate level she teaches courses on teaching, learning, and teacher education. Denise has served as chair of the editorial panel for both the Journal of Mathematics Teacher Education and Mathematics Teacher Educator and as a member of the board of directors of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. Dr. Spangler holds a Master’s Degree in Mathematics from Illinois State University and a Doctorate in Mathematics Education from the University of Georgia.

Wisconsin Advisors

Dr. Rainey Briggs

Dr. Rainey Briggs is the Director of Elementary Education in the Middleton Cross Plains Area School District. He has also served as a cultural liaison, teacher, and principal. Dr. Briggs has worked with many school districts on providing professional development around equity and cultural responsiveness and he strives to bring a voice to marginalized students & families. As a principal, he collaborated with staff and families to bring the motto “Every kid, Every day, Whatever it Takes” to the forefront of their school as a mission to live by daily. Rainey obtained his EdD from Edgewood College, where he is also an adjunct professor.

Justin Nies

Mr. Justin Nies is an Elementary School Administrator for the School District of Whitefish Bay. He also worked as an Administrator for the School District of Brown Deer. Justin has experience teaching in the early childhood classroom, working with students identified with gifts and talents and as an instructional coach for mathematics – PreKindergarten through Eighth grade. As a leader, Mr. Nies is an advocate for his community while listening to their needs – communicating and encouraging everyone to further build a professional learning community of equity, respect, trust, cooperation and collaboration. Justin obtained both his Masters of Arts in Teaching and Learning and his Masters of Science in Educational Leadership from Cardinal Stritch University.

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