Joanne Lee MAT’20

Joanne Lee MAT'20

Name: Joanne Lee MAT’20
Hometown: Montclair, New Jersey
Academics: Master of Arts in Teaching Mathematics
Pronouns: she, her, hers 

By Sasha Nyary 

When Joanne Lee asked around about graduate programs in math education, the word on the street was to investigate the Professional and Graduate Education program at Mount Holyoke. 

After teaching in the classroom for more than a decade, including with Teach For America and the KIPP (Knowledge is Power Program) public charter schools, Lee was promoted to math coach for KIPP New Jersey. She was to oversee six middle schools and for that, she wanted more training. She was looking for a high-quality program that she could attend while working full time and raising a family. The College’s master’s in teaching mathematics program was perfect. 

“I absolutely loved it, from the moment I started,” Lee said. “I love that they’re teaching us how to teach math in an engaging way, which is exactly how the professors teach it to us. We’re not only going to learn how to teach math, but we’re also learning about how everyone learns.” 

She loved her very first webinar, taught by Mike Flynn, who she called “awesome.” Flynn directs the math leadership programs at the graduate school. Another favorite was Action Research, taught by Marta Garcia

“She introduced publications I might not have known about,” Lee said. “She gave me lots of feedback on what I’d written and pointed out where I needed to do more. She’s very personable. All the professors have been very personable, very open. They want us all to grow. It seems like we never discuss an evaluation or a final score. It’s more like, what have you done well and what can you improve.”

Lee works in a predominantly African-American community, she said. “We have to equip our students to interpret the data for themselves, and empower them to make informed decisions in this world. Because of Mount Holyoke, I have the tools that I need to continue growing this program.”