RMC Research Corporation Senior Research Associate, Arlene Mitchell, has been honored with the prestigious Forest N. Fisch Award from the Colorado Council of Teachers of Mathematics (CCTM). The Colorado Council of Teachers of Mathematics is a professional organization of educators, individually and collectively, dedicated to the improvement of classroom instruction in mathematics at all levels. Arlene was presented the award for outstanding service in mathematics education at the Council’s annual awards ceremony Thursday evening, September 24, at the Denver Mart, with more than 200 of her colleagues and fellow mathematicians and mathematics educators in attendance.
We are so proud of Arlene here at RMC and she is so deserving of this prestigious honor. She is an outstanding mathematics education leader who has dedicated her professional career to improving the teaching and learning of mathematics for students, teachers, and mathematics leaders. Arlene has made a difference in so many schools throughout Colorado and the United States.
Arlene began her professional career teaching in Florida and Texas, before coming to Colorado where she taught in Greeley for over 20 years. After moving from the classroom to the research and technical assistance environment in the mid-90’s, Arlene was an integral member of the High Plains Consortium for Mathematics and Science at the Mid-continent Regional Educational Laboratory (McREL) from 1997 until 2003 where she was a co-author on numerous publications, including EdThoughts: What We Know About Mathematics Teaching and Learning; Norms and Tools: A roadmap for exemplary teaching; and a number of Public Broadcasting Services (PBS) Teacherline mathematics modules for elementary and middle school teachers.
Since joining RMC Research in 2003, Arlene has been a leader on a number of research, development, and evaluation projects including developing two practice guides “Improving Mathematical Problem Solving for Grades 4-8” and “Developing Effective Fraction Instruction Grades K-8” for the Doing What Works Clearinghouse; contributing to the National Mathematics Advisory Panel report at the elementary and secondary level; providing ongoing professional development for K-8 coaches and engaging in research for the NSF-funded Examining Mathematics Coaching (EMC) project for the past five years; and, most recently, being a evaluator/researcher on an NSF-funded project, Learning Algebra and Methods for Proving (LAMP), which is developing instructional materials to support the teaching and learning of argumentation, reasoning, and proof in 8th grade mathematics.
As editor of the Colorado Mathematics Teacher, Arlene was instrumental in making the publication one of considerable interest and value to CCTM members. She was co-chair for NCTM’s Regional Conference in 2010 bringing in national speakers to Denver for the conference. And of course, Arlene served as President of Colorado Council of Teachers of Mathematics from 2005 – 2007. She served as a program member for the NCTM National Conference (2012) in Philadelphia, chair and member of the NCTM Professional Development Services Committee (2006-2009), and a NCTM Algebra Institute session developer for Middle School for the last four years. Arlene has provided technical assistance and guidance to educators across multiple states through the Texas Comprehensive Center and the Central Regional Education Laboratory at Marzano Research.
Because of her depth of knowledge, passion, and advocacy for high quality mathematics teaching and learning, Arlene has helped teachers and students deepen their understanding of mathematics content and connections and supports others growth into leadership roles. Tom Peters in this book In Search of Excellence said “Leaders don’t create followers, they create more leaders.” This has been Arlene’s role from the start: for her students; for her colleagues and associates; for teachers, specialists, and coaches; and for other mathematics leaders. Arlene is so deserving of CCTM’s Forest N. Fisch Award – she has been and continues to be a professional who leads by example and instills in all a love for mathematics teaching and learning.