The Wisconsin Mathematics Education Foundation was established in 2011 to utilize the generosity of contributors in the creation and funding of scholarships, grants, and other educational projects that support the mathematics teaching and learning in Wisconsin.
Address: PO Box 130, Holmen, WI 54636
Michael Weidner, Chair
Mike Weidner has been a math teacher at Nicolet High School in Glendale, WI for the past 20 years. He served as Treasurer and/or Board Member of Wisconsin Mathematics Council, Inc. for 12 years.
For many years persons in leadership roles of the Wisconsin Mathematics Council, Inc. have envisioned the existence of a Trust or Foundation to support mathematics education in Wisconsin.
A meeting including some of those visionary people was finally held in August 2009 to initiate the formation of a mathematics education trust for Wisconsin. Wanda Bussey, Gail Burrill, Jack Burrill, Jane Howell, Pat Hopfensperger, John Janty, Joe Kmoch, Diana Kasbaum Henry Kranendonk, and Mike Weidner were in attendance. Initially called the Wisconsin Mathematics Education Trust, in 2011 the name was changed to the Wisconsin Mathematics Education Foundation (WMEF) to meet state guidelines.
A year later, the first Board of Directors meeting for the new trust took place on August 6, 2010 in West Allis. Mike Weidner provided the leadership for the meeting as well as generating the initial paper work to create the trust. Those present at the meeting were Jack Burrill, Jane Howell, John Janty, Joe Kmoch, and Mike Weidner. Additional members of the Board of Directors include Pat Hopfensperger and Beth Schelfelker. Diana Kasbaum, WMC President, appointed Shunda Allen to the Board as an ex-officio member and liaison to the Wisconsin Mathematics Council. She was later replaced by Dave Ebert, current WMC President. At the meeting Board members reviewed the Articles of Incorporation, WMEF By-Laws, and Conflict of Interest Policy that had been drafted and reviewed over the previous year.
Terms for the Board members were determined by consensus with: Beth Schelfelker and Pat Hopfensperger will be serving two-year terms, Jane Howell, Joe Kmoch, and Jack Burill will be serving three-year terms, and John Janty and Mike Weidner will be serving four-year terms.
Officers were elected and include: John Janty, Chair; Mike Weidner, Secretary; Joe Kmoch, Treasurer; Jack Burrill, Parliamentarian; and Jane Howell, Historian.
The necessary papers were filed with the state and federal agencies to establish tax-exempt status for the new Foundation. WMEF was first introduced publicly to the Wisconsin Mathematics Council membership at their 2011 annual conference. A WMEF brochure was designed and published. The website was created and put online (wmefonline.org). WMEF received its tax-exempt status from the IRS under section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code in July, 2011. Contributions are tax deductible under section 170 of the Code.
WMEF is now placing its efforts in fund raising to support its activities. Those activities currently include awarding academic awards and scholarships for students pursuing careers in math education, grants for persons to attend the WMC annual meeting, and the initiation of a research grant for teachers. Our first annual report was designed and published. Numerous efforts went towards the fundraising activities to be held during the WMC annual conference in 2013.
The Board of Directors placed its efforts on fundraising projects. Thanks to a number of corporate sponsors WMEF was able to raise $6,000 during the WMC annual conference. Shortly the Foundation received a generous contribution from the employees at Epic. On June 17, Board members met with WMC Board members to discuss the relationship between the two organizations. The discussion in June led to the creation of an ad hoc committee comprised of Board members from both WMEF and WMC. The charge of the committee is to explore ways to expand coordination of efforts for the two organizations and to investigate possible restructuring. The challenge for the committee is to find the best way to achieve a common vision and create a structure through which that vision can be best accomplished.
John Janty, Chair
John Janty taught mathematics at Waunakee High School for 34 years and served as District Mathematics Coordinator for twenty-seven of those years before retiring in 2008. He was an active WMC Board of Director for numerous years and served as WMC President in 1998-1999. John was instrumental in creating the Wisconsin Mathematics Education Foundation by serving as WMEF Chair
Joseph Kmoch, Treasurer
Joe Kmoch was a math and computer science teacher in Milwaukee Public Schools for 34 years, the last 28 at Washington High School. He served as the Treasurer of the Wisconsin Mathematics Council for 24 years (1980-2004).
Judy Felsenthal, Director
Judy Felsenthal has been a teacher with the Platteville School District for over 35 years.
Pat Hopfensperger, Director
Patrick Hopfensperger taught mathematics at Homestead High School in Mequon, WI for 35 years. Since retiring in 2007, he has been teaching at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee working with pre-service mathematics teachers for grades 6 through 12.
Kali Kocmoud, Director
Kali Kocmoud taught mathematics and computer courses at New Richmond High School for 32 years and one year in Neenah before retiring in 2018. She was the High School representative on the WMC Board of Directors from 1999-2001.
Christine Lucas, Director
Chris taught for 28 years at Whitefish Bay High School and now enjoys teaching mathematics to future educators at UW-Milwaukee.
Kelly Schaefer, Director
Kelly Schaefer has been teaching since 1996. Currently, she is the 4K - 12 District Math Coach for Riverdale School District in southwestern Wisconsin.
John Burrill, Parliamentarian
John Burrill, taught as secondary teacher in suburban Milwaukee, Wisconsin for over 35 years, worked at The National Center for Mathematics and Science Education for 10 years, taught at Michigan State University for 2 years and is currently retired. He served as President of the Milwaukee Area Mathematics Council and editor of the Wisconsin Mathematics Council's Journal. He was awarded the Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching Mathematics, the Wisconsin Distinguished Mathematics Educator Award and was chosen as a participant to the Woodrow Wilson Mathematical Modeling Workshop at Princeton University. He has co-authored articles on teaching mathematics and also worked on developing mathematics curriculum at the middle and high school levels. He has provided numerous in-service workshops on methods of teaching of mathematics and statistics for NCTM and WMC. He currently serves as parliamentarian on the WMEF board.
Jane Howell, Historian (deceased)
Jane Howell taught mathematics at Platteville Middle School from 1965 to 1999. She was an active WMC Board of Director for numerous years and served as WMC President twice in 1988-1989 and 1997-1998. Jane was instrumental in the establishment of the WMEF and served on the Board of Directors for the first seven years of the foundation’s existence.
Beth Schefelker, Director
Beth Schefelker taught for over 25 years for Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS). For the past eight years she has held the position of District Mathematics Teaching Specialist. Beth served as the WMC Secretary for four years.