Skip to main content Skip to footer

March 26, 2019

SVSU program empowers math teachers in region's middle schools

Education advocates say a Saginaw Valley State University-based leadership education initiative for teachers will bolster math studies and achievement in the Great Lakes Bay Region.

Based at SVSU's Regional Mathematics and Science Center, the Great Lakes Bay Region Mathematics Specialist program provides leadership training to local middle school teachers — grades 5 to 8 — specializing in math. The initiative graduated its first class of 13 teachers in August 2018. The second class has already met and organizers are still accepting applicants.

The initiative is vital for bolstering student achievement in math across the region, advocates say. The goal is to prepare the program's trainees to return to their schools to support colleagues and administrators in math-related assessment, curriculum and instruction strategies.

The program works, said Amy Kolb, a member of the math specialist program group that graduated in August.

“In my 20 years of teaching, the math specialist program at SVSU is the most valuable professional development tool that I have ever participated in,” said Kolb, who teaches math at E.F. Rittmueller Middle School in Frankenmuth.

“I have developed a deeper understanding of mathematics, and I am better prepared to support my students - especially students who struggle with math. My experiences in the program have also taught me how to develop and lead professional development for other math teachers.”

A $65,637 grant from the Great Lakes Bay Regional Alliance is funding the training for the second group of participants. The cohort earlier this month met for the first of nine training sessions scheduled throughout the winter, spring and summer seasons.

Teachers interested in applying for the remaining eight sessions of the program can contact Tamara Barrientos, director of the SVSU Regional Mathematics and Science Center, at or (989) 964-4636. There is no cost to participate.