The development of Math Trailblazers 4th Edition has been a collaborative effort of mathematicians, scientists, teachers, teacher developers, and curriculum designers. The First Edition was published in 1998 and was preceded by many years of tool and teacher development as part of the Teaching Integrated Math and Science (TIMS) Project. Below are primary contributors to the K–5 materials. This list is not exhaustive but rather inclusive of those who had the most impact and illustrates the diverse set of perspectives brought together to develop MTB4.
Phil Wagreich, founder, former lead author and curriculum developer
Phil was a national leader in math education. He was a professor emeritus of mathematics, statistics, and computer science at University of Illinois at Chicago and was an expert in algebraic geometry. Along with his co-founder, Howard Goldberg, Phil received multiple grants to develop materials and professional development opportunities designed to encourage quantitative reasoning.
Howard Goldberg, founder, former lead author and curriculum developer
Howard is a national leader in math and science education and a professor emeritus of physics at University of Illinois at Chicago with a focus on particle physics. Along with his co-founder, Phil Wagreich, Howard received multiple grants to develop materials and professional development opportunities designed to encourage quantitative reasoning.
Jennifer Mundt Leimberer, author and curriculum developer
Jennifer is a licensed K–8 teacher with over 20 years experience with curriculum design, teaching, and teacher development, specializing in math and science education. She is committed to building curriculum tools and teacher resources that support the development of learning environments that foster students’ abilities to problem-solve and reason. She also has a specific interest in developing meaningful formative assessment tools and working with teachers to cultivate strong classroom practices and professional development.
Cathy Kelso, author and curriculum developer
Cathy is a secondary education teacher with a special interest in serving students who are bilingual or English language learners. She is also an experienced pre-service and in-service teacher development mentor. Cathy led the 2nd Edition revision team and the research and revision team for the 4th Edition Field test.
Elizabeth Cape, author and curriculum developer
Liz is a licensed elementary teacher with 12 years of teaching experience and a special interest in mathematics. As a former Math Trailblazers teacher, she is motivated to design materials and learning opportunities that encourage students to make connections among multiple representations and think flexibly, and in finding ways to help all students access and be challenged by classroom experiences.
Sandy Niemiera, author and curriculum developer
Sandy is an educator with 35 years of experience as an elementary teacher and principal. She has been actively involved in curriculum throughout her career. She is currently an adjunct professor at Concordia University Chicago, where she specializes in educational leadership development. She is particularly passionate about developing teacher independence and leadership.
Georganne Marsh, author and curriculum developer
Georganne is a former lawyer who turned to teaching after working as a Public Defender in Juvenile Court. She received her Masters in Teaching from National Louis University and taught middle school mathematics in Chicago. In retirement she is able to continue in her love of working with students by volunteer tutoring.
Susan Beal, author and curriculum developer
Susan is a mathematics educator with experience teaching Kindergarten through graduate school. She was a mathematics specialist in her school district. Susan earned her doctorate at the University of Chicago, and taught mathematics at Saint Xavier University for 27 years. Her research interests include how children learn mathematics.
Jan Ozima, author and curriculum developer
Jan is an elementary teacher with 39 years of classroom experience. As a teacher, Jan masterfully encouraged students to think flexibly and develop proficient problem-solving strategies. She has an extensive background in literacy as well, and connects literacy development goals and strategies to mathematics instruction.
Janet Simpson Beissinger, author and curriculum developer
Janet is a mathematician with over 25 years experience in teacher training and curriculum design. She was a senior author of the first, third, and fourth editions of Math Trailblazers®. She taught 7th grade in the National Teacher Corps and, as a professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, has taught graduate and undergraduate mathematics courses. She is currently the Director of UIC’s Middle-Grade CryptoClub Project, and was previously the co-Director of UIC’s Family Math Leader Training Program.
Tim Stoelinga, author and curriculum developer
Tim served on the TIMS Project from 2008 to 2011 as an author and project co-director for the 4th edition. After teaching secondary mathematics and science for 10 years, he worked in Chicago Public Schools as an instructional coach and curriculum coordinator. He then served as Mathematics Director for the Boulder Valley School District in Colorado, and as a lead consultant for the design of a secondary math and science teacher preparation program at the University of Chicago, before joining the TIMS Project at UIC in 2008. In recent years, Stoelinga has contributed on various funded K–12 mathematics curriculum development and research projects at UIC’s Learning Sciences Research Institute, including Intensified Algebra, a comprehensive algebra program for underprepared 9th graders, and the Math Center project, a multi-institution effort to apply cognitive principles toward the improvement of middle-grades math instruction. He is also currently working on a doctoral dissertation focused on students’ investment in mathematics classroom activities.
Lydia Soldwedel, author and curriculum developer
Lydia is an elementary teacher with 34 years of classroom experience in the intermediate grades. She also served as a gifted and talented resource teacher for students in grades 2–6. Her goal in teaching is to help students become self-directed learners and find the confidence to think independently.
Diana Berndt, author and curriculum developer
Diana is an elementary teacher with 35 years of classroom experience. As a teacher, Diana masterfully encouraged students to persevere as problem solvers, and to think strategically and flexibly. Drawing on her extensive background in early childhood education, she has presented at numerous professional conferences, and consistently connects developmental strategies to mathematics instruction.
Dixie Rouleau, author and curriculum developer
Dixie supervised the field research of Math Trailblazers at the school level for ten years, ensuring fidelity of implementation, teacher training, support for diverse students, and parent involvement. Dixie trained administrators and teachers in school districts nationwide in MTB curriculum alignment and implementation supports. Her interests include strengthening the dynamic interactions between practitioners and researchers through democratic decision-making processes, deepening trust in blended learning communities, and improving access for all students to research-based math instruction.
Abby Kail, curriculum developer
Abby joined the Math Trailblazers 4th edition team to develop the foundation for the new Kindergarten curriculum. She is an experienced primary and early childhood educator with more than 18 years of classroom experience. She was a math coach with the Erikson Institute, improving teachers’ practices to help students build a foundational math background. She brought her passion for making learning fun, engaging, and activity-based so all students gain math understanding through hands-on, developmentally appropriate experiences.
Renee Miller, curriculum developer
Renee joined the 4th edition team to develop the foundation for the new Kindergarten curriculum. She is an experienced early childhood teacher and math coach with the Erickson Institute.
Tracey Brownrig, curriculum developer
Tracey joined the 4th edition team to develop the foundation for the new Kindergarten curriculum. She is an experienced early childhood teacher.
Kathy Anderson, editor
Kathy joined the project during the revision of the 2nd Edition to share her editorial experience and provide administrative help with the project. Her editorial work on the 4th edition included reading for internal consistency as well as readability and usability for students and teachers.
Jean Goldrich, editor
Jean is an English secondary education and special education certified teacher. She was on the development team of an inquiry driven science curriculum and taught high school writing and English for six years before joining Math Trailblazers to edit content and proofread page layouts. Her editorial work on fourth edition included reading for internal consistency as well as readability and usability for students and teachers.
Krissy Metzler, editor
Krissy is an English secondary education and special education certified teacher. She taught high school writing and English for four years before joining Math Trailblazers to edit content and proofread page layouts. Her editorial work on fourth edition included reading for internal consistency as well as readability and usability for students and teachers.
Bert Esariya-umpai, production
Bert led the production team. This team took the ideas, sketches, and scribbles of the author teams and made them shine. Bert and the production team designed and did layout of all the pages, and created all the artwork, figures, and diagrams.
Josue Pellot, production
Josue, as a member of the production team, worked diligently to translate the thoughts, scribbles, and drawings of the author team into art and pages that are easy to comprehend and attractive.
Alison Castro, NSF Research Study and Field Test
Alison is an Associate Professor and the Director of Mathematics Education at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She helped develop the research plan and analyzed data for the Whole Number Study.
Stacy Brown, NSF Research Study and Field Test
Stacy Brown is currently Assistant Professor for the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. She coordinated research activities for the Whole Number Study and the Implementation Study.
Kathleen Cramer, NSF Research Study and Field Test
Kathleen is an Associate Professor for the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Minnesota. She directed the activities of the Fraction and Proportionality Study.
Jennifer Bay-Williams, NSF Research Study and Field Test
Jennifer is a Professor and the Department Chair for the Department of Middle and Secondary Education at the University of Louisville. She assisted in the data collection at the Kansas site including recruitment, classroom observations (including videotaping), teachers’ interviews, and student interviews. She also served as an advisor to the research team at UIC on the development of the Whole Number Study research plan.
Lucia Flevares, NSF Research Study and Field Test
Lucia is Assistant Director and Project Manager at the Mathematics Coaching Program in Ohio. She was formerly an Assistant Professor at Ohio State University. She coordinated the activities of the Video Study.
Michelle Perry, NSF Research Study and Field Test
Michelle is a Professor of Educational Psychology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She supervised research for the Video Study.
Kathleen Pitvorec, NSF Research Study
Kathleen recently completed her PhD at UIC. She worked on the analysis of the Whole Number Study data.
Anne Marie Marshall, NSF Research Study and Field Test
Anne Marie is an Assistant Professor of Mathematics Education at Berry College. She coordinated data collection, analyzed classroom observations and student interview data, and recruited field test teachers.
Louis DiBello, NSF Research Study and Field Test
Dr. DiBello is Associate Co-Director and a Research Professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago’s Learning Sciences Research Institute. He developed the research plan for the Student Achievement Study and was responsible for statistical analyses.