Fellows in Action

ATOMIC Presentation

Hartford teachers and Alums Jackie Rankin and Kate Grayeb also presented with Mario Carullo, the director of math in our partner-district Hartford, on Homegrown Teacher Leadership: Building a Districtwide Model for Supporting Building Thinking Classrooms Implementation. The session was in such high demand, they were asked to run it TWICE

Kate Grayeb PAEMST Finalist

UConn Alum and Noyce Fellow Kate Grayeb was honored at the ATOMIC Conference as the state’s finalist for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching, a highly prestigious award given by the National Science Foundation. She is now being considered for the national PAEMST teacher of the year.

MTL Video Showcase

The MTL program was selected by NCTM to be showcased during the 2023 NCTM’s Annual Meeting and Exposition in video format. This video honored the work of the MTL Fellows and advocates for math teacher leadership as an asset and important factor in advancing more equitable mathematics education for students. The video was produced by NCTM through WebsEdge with support from the Neag School of Education and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. It is available below as well as online through video and social media platforms (#NCTMDC23)

Jen Roggi at AMTEC

Jen Roggi, alongside her UConn intern, Katie Kuegler,  presented to pre-service teachers from across the state at the AMTEC Mathematics Pre-service Teacher Conference held on January 27, 2024. The focus of their presentation was how the use of self-reflection and guided discourse can promote positive math identities and student agency and help to develop a strong math community within the classroom. Participants were shown how small changes can help with students’ perseverance, risk-taking, and collaboration, allowing them to see themselves as a valued member of the problem solving community.

Shawn McClory at AMTEC

Shawn McClory presented to pre-service teachers from across the state at the AMTEC Mathematics Pre-service Teacher Conference held on January 27, 2024. Shawn shared his presentation on how to effectively launch a lesson using methods from Peter Liljedahl’s Building Thinking Classrooms. He demonstrated tasks that promote student engagement – both for the immediate task and long term, positive math identities, and proficiency with many SMPs. In this session, participants are students first as they do a problem solving task and model a launch for engagement. Shawn and the participants then debrief and share what they learned and tips for developing and implementing effective launches. As a last step, participants select a problem solving task, develop the launch, and have the opportunity to practice with others.

Fellow Spotlight

Jackie Rankin, Bulkeley High School, Hartford Public Schools

Noyce Fellow Jackie Rankin, along with Hartford-colleague and Noyce Fellow Kate Grayeb, are spearheading an effort to support Hartford math in taking up and implementing the Building Thinking Classrooms (BTC) (Liljedahl, 2020) instructional model. Jackie and Kate were asked by her math director to co-lead this work with a cohort of 30 teachers from grades 6 through 12 who are piloting BTC. In this role, they present webinar-type sessions for teachers, to inform them of the key ideas and philosophies of BTC and facilitate collaborative study groups throughout the year to support teachers as they implement the model in their classrooms. In addition, Jackie was TEAM trained (mentoring training for the state) as part of the Noyce program and is hosting a student teacher from UConn this year. Jackie is excited to mentor and collaborate with her student teacher and highlight the benefits of teaching math and teaching in Hartford. Extending her leadership activities, Jackie presented to teachers, coaches and math leaders at the Association of Teachers of Mathematics in New England (ATMNE) annual conference in October in Portland, Maine. The session focused on effective task design- drawing on BTC principles – to enhance engagement and student autonomy. Jackie is teaching Algebra 1 and a Freshman intervention course called Transition to Algebra this year. 

Fellow Spotlight

Kelsey Onofrio, Joseph Melillo Middle School, East Haven Public Schools

Kelsey Onofrio is one of two 8th-grade teachers at Joseph Melillo Middle School in East Haven. As a Fellow, she has stepped into multiple leadership roles this year at the school-level and beyond.  Last spring, Kelsey opened her classroom for math coaches from Hartford Public Schools to observe the Building Thinking Classroom (BTC) model in action. Within her school, Kelsey will be a TEAM mentor for the first time, supporting a new 7th-grade math teacher. Drawing on her experience working with the BTC model, Kelsey was asked to lead an interdisciplinary initiative to bring the model to all subject areas at her middle school. In addition, Kelsey was invited to participate as part of East Haven’s team in an interdistrict consortium through The Acceleration Networked Improvement Community (NIC) and Partners for Educational Leadership. Reaching out state-wide, in August, Kelsey – along with Fellows Marta Soto-Johnson and William McKinney – hosted a Back-to-School Webinar on BTC and how to design curricular tasks that promote student autonomy. The webinar was attended by educators from across the state and is posted online at this link.   

Fellow Spotlight

Shawn McClory, Manchester High School, Manchester Public Schools


Shawn McClory teaches statistics, geometry and AP Statistics at Manchester High School. Stepping into some new leadership roles, Shawn is hosting a UConn master’s intern this year. Together they are exploring how to help students find more meaning in math class and connect it to their future endeavors. Shawn will continue to improve his own teacher practice while mentoring a future classroom teacher. Shawn is also a TEAM Mentor this year for a second-year math teacher. Extending beyond his classroom, Shawn hosted UConn’s senior math education cohort for a session, leading them in activities and discussion about implementing problem solving tasks and supporting high engagement. He facilitated a similarly focused district back-to-school professional development session. In October, he presented Launching Problem Solving Tasks to Maximize Engagement at his first regional conference, the Association of Teachers of Mathematics in New England (ATMNE), in Portland, Maine. Shawn is extensively involved in other aspects of the school and community. He is currently the treasurer of the local teachers union, the Manchester Education Association (MEA); coaches basketball and golf; and serves on Climate Committee and as the advisor to LINK- a student leadership and mentor group that organizes events and programs to build camaraderie between student leaders and the ninth graders.