Introduction to Data Science Facilitators

Pamela Amaya

I am currently at Helen Bernstein High School in Los Angeles. I have taught all levels of mathematics, Algebra 1, Geometry, Algebra 2, Precalculus and AP Calculus. Several years ago I was recruited to the IDS Pilot program. It was such an engaging and fulfilling learning experience for both myself and my students, that I wanted to share it with as many teachers as I could. As part of a fantastic team of IDS trainers, I have been able to share this one-of-a-kind curriculum with others and I hope to continue to do so.

Monica Casillas

My inspiration for becoming a teacher came from all of the wonderful teachers that I had. They made a positive impact in my life and I believed I could do the same for the students in my community. So after earning my Bachelors degree in mathematics, I became a teacher at my alma mater, John H. Francis Polytechnic SH. In order to improve my practice as a teacher, I attended many workshops and conferences. I eventually returned to CSUN and earned my Masters in math education and then became Nationally Board Certified. Did I mention that I married my middle school sweetheart and had two beautiful children? As I continued to find ways to improve my practice, I attended mobilize math and was later asked to be a pilot teacher for Introduction to Data Science. I am so glad I became involved with Mobilize. Not only did Mobilize open a new pathway for students in mathematics it also changed students’ attitudes about math. The curriculum is so engaging that students would say:
“Are you sure this is a math class?”
“I didn’t like math before, but now I do.”
My own practice improved as I began utilizing more cooperative learning as well as class discussions- just some of the teaching strategies in the curriculum.

Heidi Estevez

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Heidi graduated from UC Irvine in 2007 with a B.A. in Sociology, and will be receiving her M.A. in Curriculum with an emphasis on Linked Learning in Secondary Education from CSU Long Beach December in 2017. She has 10+ years of experience in education, and has taught 7th grade math through AP Calculus/Statistics. Her efforts to include technology and relatable content drew her to the Mobilize Project in 2011, which further led to her collaboration with the IDS team in writing the curriculum in 2015, teaching the course in her own classroom in 2016, and ultimately becoming an IDS Teacher Facilitator in 2016. While she has always strived to incorporate technology in her classroom, she formally began teaching the Exploring Computer Science course in 2016. Outside of the classroom, Heidi enjoys traveling, spinning fire via hula hoop, and poi (and all manner of gastronomic adventure).

Joy Min

During her ten years as a math teacher at Roosevelt High School in Boyle Heights, Joy has taught the wide gamut of math courses from Math Tutorial Lab to AP Calculus BC. She was a pilot teacher for IDS and believes this is the future of math education to empower our students as intellectual citizens who understand and control their own data. Joy is currently a high school math coordinator with the Partnership for Los Angeles Schools, a non-profit whose mission is to empower all students with a high-quality education. Math is life for this triple Bruin who has her B.S. in Mathematics, Master of Education with a teaching credential, and Master of Education with an administrative credential.

Robert Montgomery

I have been teaching for LAUSD since 1990 with degrees in Math and Economics. Currently I teach Statistics, AP Statistics, and IDS. I have worked over the last 5 years to build a statistics program here at Roybal Learning Center and feel strongly about the need for data analysis and inquiry-based instruction. Being a pilot teacher for IDS has been a blessing and has changed the way I teach. I am honored to be training future IDS teachers.

Roberta Ross

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Roberta Ross has been an educator with Los Angeles Unified School District for over 10 years. She has experience as a teacher, counselor, instructional coach, and coordinator.

Alma Villegas-Torres

Alma Villegas-Torres is a mathematics teacher who began her teaching career in 2003. She works at James Monroe High School in the Los Angeles Unified School District. Alma has a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and a Master’s degree in Education. She currently teaches Introduction to Data Science and Geometry. Alma lives in the San Fernando Valley with her husband and her two children.

Brent Rojo

Brent Rojo has been teaching math and engineering at Venice High School since 2012, after spending seven years as a civil engineer. He has a B.S. in Engineering from Harvey Mudd College and an M.Ed. from Cal State LA. He currently teaches IDS, AP Computer Science Principles, and Engineering Design and Development.
Brent is a Southern California native and lives in Culver City with his family. He enjoys chatting with his students about the importance of data literacy, as well as the Dodgers, Star Wars, and the many uses for Tapatío sauce.

Leah Ulloa

I live in LA and growing up, I had always wanted to be a math teacher. Currently, I am in my 5th year of teaching at San Gabriel High School, with previous teaching positions held at Azusa High and California High School. Over the course of my 13 years of teaching, I have taught Algebra, Geometry, AVID, Robotics, Statistics, AP Statistics, and Introduction to Data Science. I began teaching IDS back in 2017. After a full year of teaching IDS, I became an IDS facilitator because I fully believe that the IDS curriculum teaches and develops critical thinking, coding and analysis; necessary skills of the 21st Century. Not only do students relate more to IDS and Statistics, they are more engaged and can see how it connects to the real world. When I am not in the classroom, you can find me on a run, tap dancing, traveling, and spending quality time with my daughter and family.