By Alyssa Foy | Reporter
Dr. Trena L. Wilkerson, Baylor professor of mathematics education, was installed in early April as the new president of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics via a virtual meeting.
The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) is an educational organization that provides members with access to classroom resources, funding grants and professional development opportunities, according to their website.
After being elected by the over 30,000 members of the organization and serving the past year as President-Elect, Wilkerson was slated to be inducted as President during NCTM’s centennial celebration.
However, the conference had to be reformatted to a virtual meeting due to the Coronavirus outbreak. The gavel was still ceremoniously but virtually passed on to Wilkerson.
As President, one of Wilkerson’s main goals in the new role is to encourage and advocate for the organization’s initiatives, such as their Catalyzing Change series, which focuses on strategizing larger purposes for teaching mathematics and how to implement equitable mathematic instruction.
“NCTM advances a culture of equity where each and every person has access to high-quality teaching empowered by the opportunities mathematics afford,” the organization reports as part of their “Access, Equity and Empowerment” component of their strategic framework.
In a statement to the NCTM, Wilkerson emphasizes the importance of the tangible plans she has, and echoes commitment to the idea of educational equity.
“While we have much research-based knowledge, we need a strategic plan for exampling and supporting mathematics teaching and learning that reaches each and every student,” Wilkerson said.
A member of the council since the beginning of her teaching career in 1976, Wilkerson has held various other roles in the organization, as well, through conference presentations, program committees and editorial panels. Her most recent role was serving on the Board of Directors for the council. In all of the ways Wilkerson serves the NCTM, she views it as a way to give back.
“It’s an honor to actually serve the organization that supported me so well while I was teaching mathematics,” Wilkerson said.
Wilkerson gives back to the professional teaching community in other ways, as well. Now a professor in the School of Education for over 20 years, Wilkerson said she helps others understand how to teach high school mathematics curriculums.
Although the presidency is a full-time position, Wilkerson said she will continue to work with her doctoral students completing their dissertations, as well as support and mentor the professors that will now be teaching the secondary mathematics classes that she normally instructs.