Board of Directors

image sampleRichard Seitz is currently a high school teacher at Helena High School. He spent two summer's teaching gifted and talented Chinese students in Hong Kong and one summer teaching math teachers in Shanghai China. In the last few years he has traveled extensively across the USA putting on workshops for mathematics teachers. He has been a writer for a middle school mathematics text and is currently on the Board of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. He has received a Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching of Mathematics as well as holding National Board Certification in Mathematics of Adolescents and Young Adults. This summer he is spending some time exploring mathematics in Italy, remodeling a 1888 house, hosting his daughter's wedding, and working at the Montana Learning Center at Canyon Ferry Lake.

image sampleGlenn Allinger is retired from the Department of Mathematical Sciences at Montana State University-Bozeman. “In the beginning”, Glenn taught mathematics and coached at the middle school and high school levels in both Ohio and New Jersey. He then followed his dream to become a teacher of teachers. After earning a Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Utah in 1972, Glenn joined the faculty at MSU-Bozeman to work with both undergraduate and graduates, traveling to numerous Montana communities. That effort was extended to the national scene by work as co-chair of Professional Development for the 1990’s Systemic Initiative for Mathematics and Sciences (SIMMS) NSF project. After 26 years at MSU-Bozeman and 36 years consumed by teaching, professional development and research, Glenn and wife, Lee, continue to reside in Bozeman and at Canyon Ferry Lake. He enjoys fishing, hunting, biking, reading, visiting children/grandchildren and volunteering for many good causes.

image samplePaul Andersen currently teaches biology at Bozeman High School. He is also the technology coordinator for the high school. He is a new member to the board and is currently working on upgrading the MLC website. Over the next two summers he will study the Effects of Antibiotic Resistance on Biofilm Formation Capabilities in Clinical Isolates through the Parners in Science Program. He enjoys spending time with his family skiing and hiking in the mountains around Bozeman. This picture was taken during a summer trip to the Galapagos Islands with a group of AP Biology students from Bozeman High.

image sample David Erickson, Ph.D., Associate Professor in The Department of Curriculum and Instruction at The University of Montana, serves his second 3-year term on the Board of Directors of the Montana Learning Center at Canyon Ferry Lake. Erickson’s interests include secondary mathematics teacher preparation and teacher change issues in regard to the changing focus brought about by standards, testing, and increased post-secondary school attendance. Teaching for 2.5 years in Malaysia in secondary school integrated science classrooms through the Peace Corps helped develop his interests in inquiry learning. Fourteen additional years teaching high school mathematics, computer science, and some chemistry and 17 more years teaching in higher education combine to encourage his research in teacher change. The Before It’s Too Late (BITL) grant from the Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education aim to increase both teacher and student success in mathematics in the middle and high schools in Montana.

image sampleEric Feaver is president of the MEA-MFT (AFL-CIO). From 1974 to 1984, Feaver taught English and social studies in the Helena public schools. In 1984, he was elected president of the former MEA. He held that post until the year 2000, when he was elected the first president of the MEA-MFT. He has been been re-elected four times for two-year terms since then. Feaver was born in Wyoming and raised in Oklahoma. From 1969 to 1970, he served in Vietnam in the 4th Infantry Division as an army combat medic. He earned a BA in government, history and economics from the University of Oklahoma, an MA in American history from the University of Maryland and an honorary doctorate of education from Montana State University.

shirleyShirley Green - Shirley has been an educator since 1981, teaching grades 5 - 8. At present, she is teaching Life Science at Lewis and Clark Middle school in Billings, Montana. She works closely with MSTA and volunteers with NASA as a Solar System Educator and Solar System Ambassador.


image sampleLiz Gunderson practiced pediatrics in Montana for 24 years - 2 years at Crow Agency, and 22 years in Helena. She retired in 2000, and since then has worked with various non-profits to promote science education for children. She is currently very active in the development of ExplorationWorks, a science center in Helena opening in Nov 2007, and she particularly enjoys teaching about computer programming, robotics, and stream insects in the afterschool learning environment. Her future goals include helping to develop collaborative networks between the many area science resources, including MLC.Liz Gundersen

image sampleSue Harding entered the world of middle school in fall 2007 after thirty years in Kalispell, Montana elementary schools. She facilitates the learning of eleven year olds (sixth graders). A self- directed journey begun to better understand how children learn mathematics, branched into facilitating the professional learning of K-8 educator in mathematics in association with the Marilyn Burns Educations Associates of Sausalito, CA, with the Mathematics Education Collaborative of Ferndale, WA, and with Montana grant COMET (Creating Opportunity in Mathematics for Exemplary Teaching). Sue presents at state and national math conferences.

image sampleGene Hickman is retired Air Force officer where he spent 19 years as a Munitions Officer (Ordnance Engineer), 3 years as an Assistant Professor of Aerospace Science and 4 years working various environmental programs. He was specially selected for the Secretary of Defense’s Biodiversity Initiative, working on an inter-disciplinary team developing a Department of Defense biodiversity policy, implementation plan and natural resource manager’s guide. He was also a senior member of the command team reviewing environmental compliance assessment programs affecting 21 Air Force installations and 108 off-site locations  His academic training is in Biology, Earth Science and Wildlife Management. He has 3 years of High School and 9 years of University teaching experience, teaching general and advanced biology, environmental science, ornithology, oceanography, and wildlife biology. He was the founder of two chapters of the National Audubon Society, one in Fairbanks, Alaska and the other in Great Falls, Montana. Gene has worked for the past 11 years as a wildlife, environmental and historical consultant and educator with Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks, the U.S. Park Service, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Department of Defense, the Montana Audubon Society, and others. Gene has made his home in Helena where he raises show chickens, gardens, hunts, writes, and pursues his interests in experimental archeology. He is an active member and officer of the American Mountain Men and the Montana Poultry Fancier’s Association. Gene enjoys sharing his knowledge and love of natural history, primitive technology, American history, and chickens, and has an active schedule of educational programs in these areas.

image sampleRick Jones is a Doctoral Fellow for the Center for Leaning and Teaching in the West in addition to teaching sciences courses at the Senior High Freshman Academy at Billings Public Schools. He is currently a doctoral candidate at MSU in Bozeman researching Perceived vs. Enacted Science Curriculum and The Effect of Science Teaching Practice on Two Montana Individual Reservations. He is also currently working on the use of robotic s and engineering design in the science classroom, increasing teacher content and pedagogical content knowledge in math and science via distance learning and online mentoring. Coordination or regional middle school science bowl and hydrogen fuel cell car race, facilitating an on line Earth System Science course and researching the changing mental models of female students in regards to science.

mary Mary Larsen taught primary age children for 29 years. She is currently the science and math instructional coach for the Helena school district. This is in Partnership with the SILC grant (Science and Inquiry Learning in Classrooms). She has been trained in Cognitively Guided Instruction for Algebraic thinking (CGI) through Northwest Regional Labs. She also has been trained in the Fundamentals of Inquiry through Exploratorium in San Francisco. Mary, along with her three children and husband Curt, enjoy being outdoors.They especially love Yellowstone Nat’l. Park where Mary grew up. She and her husband have spent time in Botswana and Romania with Habitat for Humanity

luebeckAs a mathematics educator, Jennifer Luebeck has enjoyed teaching, learning, and doing mathematics with students as well as pre-service and in-service teachers for over fifteen years in Wyoming, Colorado, and Montana. She is currently an associate professor in the Mathematical Sciences department at MSU-Bozeman, where she works primarily with future middle and high school mathematics teachers. Her interests include developing and implementing frameworks for effective professional development in mathematics, particularly for novice mathematics teachers and teachers in isolated rural areas. Many of her professional development projects involve significant online learning components. Luebeck has hosted several summer institutes and academic year workshops at the Montana Learning Center, and currently coordinates two professional development projects through the Center.

Beth Thomas currently teaches middle school science at North Middle School in Great Falls. She has 17 years of experience teaching environmental education and middle school science  in the Great Falls Public Schools. Her belief is that students learn best by answering their own questions about the world driven by their own curiosity. In her classroom, she cultivates the processes that promote inquiry, problem solving and critical thinking to help students learn about the natural world. Beth teaches numerous camps throughout the summer and has provided leadership within her district to new teachers and provides professional development in science. Being selected and working as one of twelve teachers in the nation to work with scientists using NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope has been a highlight of her career for the past five years. Beth received the 2003 Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching. Her interests and hobbies include photography, scrapbooking, reading, kayaking, hiking, and cooking as well as spending time with her husband and three children.

marieMarie Vanisko is now a Professor Emerita at Carroll College where she began teaching mathematics in 1967. Throughout the 80’s and 90’she was active in many Montana mathematics projects, including the SIMMS project. In 2001, she was a visiting professor at the U. S. Military Academy at West Point and then taught for five years at California State University Stanislaus. Marie recently chaired the College Board committee for the SAT Subject Tests in Mathematics and served on the national joint MAA/NCTM Committee on Mutual Concerns that was established by Johnny Lott. While in California, she co-directed MAA Tensor Foundation grants on Preparing Women for Mathematical Modeling, a program encouraging more high school girls to select careers involving science and mathematics, and was also active in the MAA PMET (Preparing Mathematicians to Educate Teachers) project. Marie serves as a member of the Engineering Advisory Board at Carroll College and is a judge for both the MCM and HiMCM COMAP contests. Marie is enjoying her semi-retirement and loves spending time with her family, including her three grandchildren