home Top News Addition and Subtraction in the Math Department

Addition and Subtraction in the Math Department

Hezekiah Smithstein | hsmithstein19@dtechhs.org | August 30, 2018
Maria McAlister-Young  | mmcalisteryoung19@dtechhs.org | August 30, 2018
Photo by Matthew Silverman

In a typical high school, it’s very common for new students to ask upperclassmen about the teachers they will have. Students want to know how hard their classes will be, what their teachers are like, and whether or not other students liked them. In the case of the d.tech math department, however, a myriad of changes between school years means freshmen and seniors alike will be experiencing the uncertainty of the unknown.

Many of the changes are centered around the departure of last year’s Algebra 2 teacher Freedom Cheteni, as well as previous geometry and pre-calculus teacher Matthew Cooley’s shifting to a more administrative role. Because of this, d.tech’s math department has added two new teachers this year: Karen Atkinson and Joanne Da Luz. Pre-existing math teachers David Groat and Alexis Frost have remained, but the classes they teach are different from last year as a result of the new staff.

As a result of Cooley’s shift to admin, he is only teaching one math class, a pre-calculus class during second period. Additionally, Cooley will be teaching a computer science class during first period. Having only two teaching periods allows Cooley to have, he says, “some benefits as far as the amount of communication and things like that that I can actually provide.” These changes also grant him more time to dedicate to his administrative role: integrating the data d.tech collects into everyday applications. About this shift, Cooley says, “It was a position we knew we needed, and I was already pseudo doing it, and so I stepped into that role.”

In just four years of existence, d.tech has hired ten math teachers, five of which are no longer working at d.tech. Director of Learning Nicole Cerra explains, “we have amazing superstars inside the math department, like Mr. Groat, and Alexis Frost, and Mr. Cooley, and we’ve had other really great teachers like Ms. Mitchell… but we also haven’t necessarily been able to staff up necessarily consistently.” Due to the fact that “different people have had to leave for a variety of reasons”, Cerra explains that the size of the math department means the school has to find “more people for whom d.tech is a good fit, and just for whatever reason, some teachers were not a good fit. And at d.tech if one teacher is not a good fit, then it’s a big impact.”

Despite such impacts in the past, most are looking forward to a new year and new teachers, now that the math department has been able to make adjustments for this year. “I’m really excited about the new team. The teachers coming on board have a lot of experience… I think our math department will be really really solid this year,” Cooley enthuses. Cerra agrees, saying “I’m pumped about our new folks.” As the year begins, d.tech students start to hope that their math experience will only grow, and in leaps in bounds. Or should we say, exponentially.  

To find out more about the new math teachers, go here.

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