Meet your Central Rivers AEA math team


Meet your 2023-2024 Central Rivers AEA Math Team! We have two new consultants in our Northwest and South Sectors who are excited to meet and support our CRAEA districts.

Tiffany Ahrens, Northwest Sector
Tiffany has been in education for ten years beginning as a general education classroom teacher in the 4th and 5th grades and then transitioning to a math content classroom teacher in a 6th grade setting. She has also served in the capacity as an instructional coach for a PreK-6th grade school district. Tiffany has a passion for building teacher capacity around teaching problem based learning through processes of engagement, student-centered activities, and the formative assessment process. Tiffany joined the Central Rivers AEA in 2023. In her free time she enjoys spending time with her family and reading.

Amie Smith, Northeast Sector
Amie has been in the education field for over 20 years serving as an elementary teacher and math instructional coach before joining Central Rivers AEA in 2019. Her teaching experiences include preschool, kindergarten, second grade, fifth grade, ELL, Title Reading, language-enriched kindergarten, and working for the Center for Teaching and Learning Math at UNI. Amie’s passion is ensuring that all students have access to an equitable math education. In her free time, she enjoys attending her boys’ athletic and academic events, gardening, and running.

Theresa Smith, South Sector
Theresa has been passionately serving the educational field for the past fourteen years. In her years of experience she has impacted student learning through Middle School Math, Algebra I, Algebra II, Geometry, Pre-Calculus, AP Calculus AB, Middle School Science, Spanish I, PLTW-POE, and PLTW-IED. She has had the opportunity to coach several varsity sports as well as pursue educational leadership opportunities within the districts she has worked. Her passion for systemic work and mathematical exploration led her to Central Rivers AEA in 2023. In her free time she enjoys time with her family and spending time outdoors.

Katie Simpson, Northwest Sector
Katie has over 15 years of educational experiences including roles in teaching general education in grades 1, 2, 3, 5, and 6. She served passionately as an instructional coach and she has taught as an instructor at UNI and Upper Iowa. In addition to an expertise in math, she has a Spanish-teaching minor and holds a Masters degree and multiple endorsements in Literacy. Her mission in education is to build capacity and collective efficacy for educators to engage students academically and holistically to be lifelong learners. In her free time she enjoys spending time with her family, reading, gardening, and practicing yoga.

MaKenzie Hakeman, East Sector
MaKenzie has over 15 years of experience in teaching general and special education, coaching, consulting and educational leadership. Her passions surround engagement and access in education as well as teaching the whole child.

Reach out to see how we can support you. We invite you to explore our CRAEA Learning on Demand for additional learning opportunities. Two examples are listed below.

Accelerated Learning in Math

Access to grade-level concepts and tasks in math requires intentional practice of student-specific instructional support. This video shows three key components that will maximize access to grade level math concepts.

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What is Math Rigor, Actually?

Rigor in mathematics has many misconceptions such as doing more work or working with larger numbers. Math rigor is actually part of the three major shifts of the Iowa Core Standards. The outcome of this learning is to understand the three components of math rigor and the components’ importance in math learning.

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