Dr. Trena Wilkerson Installed as President of National Council of Teachers in Mathematics

  • Full-Size Image: Dr. Trena Wilkerson
    Trena L. Wilkerson, Ph.D., professor of mathematics education in the Baylor University School of Education, has begun a two-year term as president of the Board of Directors of the 30,000-member National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.
  • Full-Size Image: Dr. Trena Wilkerson NCTM
    Trena L. Wilkerson, Ph.D., professor of mathematics education in the Baylor University School of Education, has begun a two-year term as president of the Board of Directors of the 30,000-member National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.
April 9, 2020

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WACO, Texas (April 9, 2020) – Trena L. Wilkerson, Ph.D., professor of mathematics education in the Baylor University School of Education, has taken on a national leadership role as the newly installed president of the Board of Directors of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM).

Wilkerson, who has taught in the department of curriculum and instruction since 1999, said she is honored by the opportunity to advocate for mathematics, which she has always loved. As NCTM president, she will lead an organization of more than 30,000 members, while working to make connections to enhance mathematics education and benefit students. That’s part of the beauty in mathematics, she said: “Everything connects.”

“Some people say they like mathematics because there’s a final answer,” Wilkerson said. “But to me the beauty of mathematics is there’s not always just one answer, and there is certainly not only one way to approach it. Many times, like in life, there are multiple approaches with different outcomes depending on the choice of solution strategy.”

In fact, Wilkerson’s installation as president was slated for Chicago during NCTM’s centennial celebration on April 4, but the event was canceled due to the Coronavirus outbreak. Instead, she was handed the gavel virtually during the virtual business meeting of the organization on April 3.

“The spring conference was planned as a special celebration of 100 years of NCTM, and the staff and program committee did an amazing job working on it for so long,” Wilkerson said. “Like everyone else, we are being flexible.”¬

Wilkerson’s enthusiasm for the mission of NCTM is unchanged, and she is busy promoting NCTM’s “100 Days of Learning” webinars for mathematics educators; some of the webinars are online versions of presentations scheduled for the conference, including Wilkerson’s webinar on Unknowns: A Journey into Teaching Mathematics. As a way to celebrate its centennial, NCTM is offering the webinars for free to non-members and members alike.

Wilkerson was elected to the presidency for a two-year term by the full membership of NCTM, after first serving on the organization’s Board of Directors. While her short-term plans to travel nationwide promoting mathematics, educators and the mission of NCTM have been changed during the pandemic, she said she has adjusted easily to virtual interactions after having taught an online course for Baylor’s Ed.D. in Learning and Organizational Change.

She also has served NCTM in editorial roles for its journals, authored numerous journal articles and is a co-founder of the affiliate organization Central Texas Council for Teachers of Mathematics (CTCTM). She received the Glenadine Gibb Achievement Award from the affiliated Texas Council for Teachers of Mathematics (TCTM) in 2016.

NCTM is headquartered in Reston, Virginia, and publishes books for educators, as well as journals, including the Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, Mathematics Teacher: Learning and Teaching PK-12 and Mathematics Teacher Educator.

“Throughout her career, Trena Wilkerson has demonstrated her commitment to mathematics education and to the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics in numerous roles,” said NCTM Executive Director Ken Krehbiel. She has been an inspiring educator of future teachers at Baylor and a passionate advocate for math education on behalf of NCTM.”

Wilkerson joined NCTM during her first year as a classroom teacher of mathematics at Mandeville High School in Mandeville, Louisiana.

“NCTM was the professional organization that I thought would benefit me most as a teacher,” she said. And she was not disappointed. “Their journals are filled with excellent resources to teach mathematics; that’s why I joined and why I stayed.”

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