Do you know that there is science behind gratitude? Research has shown that gratitude can improve your well-being, increase your resilience, and strengthen your social relationships.  Best of all, it can reduce stress and depression. The more grateful people are, the greater their overall well-being and life satisfaction.

Even though the use of the phrase “thank you” dates back hundreds of years ago, the concept of gratitude is still part of human interactions. In fact, nearly every language includes words or phrases used to thank someone – words such as Gracias, Merci, Arigatou, Danke, Grazie, just to name a few.  The use of gratitude is powerful and demonstrates how human communication can survive across different cultures and times.

I come from generations of “Thank you” card writers and I still have some of them to re-read and recall great memories.  And one of my favorite late-night segments is from The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.  I thoroughly enjoy his Friday night Thank you Notes sketches.  There is nothing better than gratitude with a side of humor. 

With that in mind, I end this blog with a heartfelt thank you to the NCSM board and NCSM members who have given their time and expertise during the 2019-2020 school year.  Please take a moment to read and also thank the people who have done so much for our mathematical leadership community.  You are all so very appreciated!


2020 Conference Program Committee


Samantha Wuttig, Chair, Fairbanks, AK (Awards Chair)
Bonnie Angel, Ellijay, GA
Cory Bennett, Pocatello, ID
Kimberly Burch, Prosper, TX
Sandra Davis, Melbourne, FL
Judy Dunmire, Camden, AR
Rebecca Evans, Lincoln, NE
Marj Farris, La Crete, AB, Canada
Mollie Gabrielson, Eagan, MN
Jenny Jorgensen, Farmington, ME
Christine Koerner, OK
Luc Leavenworth, Skokie, IL
Josh Males, Lincoln, NE
Mike Pacheco, Reno/Carson City, NV
Renee Parsley, Dover, DE
Jamilla Riser, Dover, DE
Peter Saarimaki, Toronto, ON, Canada
Patty Sandoz, La Grande, OR
Amy Smith, Centerville, MD
Cassandra Turner, Fort Collins, CO
Lara White, Lyndon, VT


Donna Leak, Flossmoor, IL (Nominations Chair)
Denise Brady, Grand Blanc, MI
Marty Beck, Bettendorf, IA
Tonya Clarke, Jonesboro, GA
Sarah Donovan, Shanghai, China
Marj Faris, La Crete, AB, Canada
Cortni Muir, New Milford, CT
Larry Sizemore, Towson, MD
Patty Sandoz, La Grande, OR
Mary Swarthout, Huntsville, TX
Samantha Wuttig, Fairbanks, AK
Mona Toncheff, Phoenix, AZ


Carolyn Briles, Chair, Loudoun County Public Schools, Leesburg, VA
Brian Buckhalter, Co-Chair, Buck Wild About Math, Oxford, MS
Eden Badertscher, Education Development Center, Waltham, MA
Pamela Buffington, Education Development Center, Gardiner, ME
Cynthia Carson, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY
Debbie Crocker, Appalachian State University, Boone, NC
Juli Dixon, University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL
David Dockterman, Harvard University, Boston, MA
Ann Dominick, University of Alabama – Birmingham, Birmingham, AL
Nancy Drickey, Linfield College, McMinnville, OR
Kathryn Ernie, University of Wisconsin, River Falls, WI
Linda Fulmore, Consultant, Scottsdale, AZ
Kimberly Jackson, Shenandoah University, Winchester, VA
Julie James, University of Mississippi, Oxford, MS
Shannon Larsen, University of Maine, Farmington, ME
Kimberly Morrow-Leong, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA
Rachel Muren, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL
Christine Vaught Padon, Hill College, Cleburne, TX
Jackie Palmquist, Indian Prairie School District, Aurora, IL
Michelle Plunkett, Loudoun County Public Schools, Leesburg, VA
Amy E. Reid, Seattle Public Schools, Seattle, WA
Kim Romain, CGIMath Teaching Learning Center, Little Rock, AR
Laurie Speranzo, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA


Paul Gray, Lead Writer, Dallas, TX
Bill Barnes, Ellicott City, MD
Brian Buckhalter, Oxford, MS
Linda Fulmore, Phoenix, AZ
Linda Griffith, Quitman, AR
Christina Lincoln-Moore, Los Angeles, CA
Shelly M. Jones, New Britan, CT
Michelle Rinehart, Fort Davis, TX
Sarah Schuhl, Gresham, OR
John Staley, Towson, MD
Tom Stricklin, Salem, OR
Mona Toncheff, Phoenix, AZ
Shawn Towle, Portland, ME
Desha William, Milledgeville GA
Gwen Zimmermann, Chicago, IL


Serena Alderson, Harper Woods, MI
Toni Allen, San Francisco, CA
Rebecca Angus, Chicago, IL
Kimberly Burch, Prosper, TX
Margaret Byrd, Greensboro, AL
Cynthia Cliché, Murfreesboro, TN
Ralph Connelly, Ontario, Canada
Gavin Creaden, Chicago, IL
Arlene Crum Olympia, WA
Kristine Cunningham, Phoenix, AZ
Michelle Daml, Fairbanks, AK
Mary Davis Austin, TX
Sandra Davis, Austin, TX
Elizabeth Delasandro, Westfield, NJ
Julie Dill, Salisbury, MD
Katie England, Westminster, MD
Dana Enriquez-Vontoure, Houston, TX
Rebecca Evans, Lincoln, NE
Marjorie Farris, La Crete, AB
Angela Ford, Milwaukee, WI
Jane Gaun, Flagstaff, AZ
Misty Germaine, Saginaw, TX
Marni Greenstein, Brooklyn, NY
Denise Gregory, St. Louis, MO
Melinda Griffin, Waltham, MA
Linda Griffith, Quitman, AR
Sheila Holt, Huntsville, AL
Seyoung Holte, Winterville, GA
Nicole Howard, Annapolis, MD
Karen Jeffers, Oxon Hill, MD
Yarisha Johnson, Farmington Hills, MI
Catherine Jones, Wetumpka, AL
Brian Kam, Broomfield, CO
Keeley Kinder, Fort Worth, TX
Christine Koerner, Oklahoma City, OK
Karin Lange, Chicago, IL
Luc Leavenworth, Gurnee, IL
Suzanne Libfeld, Yorktown Heights, NY
Luis Lima, Austin, TX
Michelle Luster, Katy, TX
Lisa McDonough, Huntsville, AL
Heather McMillin, Franklin, TN
Monica Miller, Chicago, IL
Sara Moore, Kent, OH
Kimberly Morrow-Leong, Fairfax, VA
Jennifer Novak, Ellicott City, MD
Phenicia Nunn, Selma, NC
Jackie Palmquist, Aurora, IL
Sharon Paver-Nepote, Sauk Village, IL
Barbara Perez, Las Vegas, NV
Laura Potter, Towson, MD
Nicholas Pyzik, Hampstead, MD
Mary Rathlev, Glen Burnie, MD
Susan Resnick, Centennial, CO
Kathleen Rieke, Indianapolis, IN
Michelle Rinehart, Fort Davis, TX
Jamila Riser, Dover, DE
Kristina Roehrig, Fairbanks, AK
Tammy Rudolph, Towson, MD
Jeanette Scott, Tempe, AZ
Brandi Simpson, Huntsville, AL
Jeanne Simpson, Decatur, AL
Sunil Singh, Toronto, Canada
Larry Sizemore, Towson, MD
James Special, Columbus, GA
Brad Thornburgh, Ithaca, NY
Susan Vohrer, Dover, DE
Kevin Wajek, Annapolis, MD
April Weese, Powell, OH
John Wolfe, Ossining, NY
Chris Wright, Towson, MD,
Amy Youngblood, Nixa, MO


Connie Schrock, NCSM Immediate Past President, Emporia, KS
Mona Toncheff, NCSM President, Phoenix, AZ
Paul Gray, NCTM Representative, Dallas, TX
Shawn Towle, NCSM 2nd Vice-President, Portland, ME
Sharon Rendon, NCSM Regional Director – C2, Summerset, SD
Georgina Rivera, NCSM Professional Learning Director, Bristol, CT
Jackie Palmquist, NCSM Professional Learning Director, Aurora, IL