Jenny Salls
On-line Summer Institute Participant
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Name of School

Sparks High School

Name of city, state

Sparks, Nevada - we're about 3 miles east of Reno, in western Nevada - Reno/Sparks is all a part of Washoe County and I work for the Washoe County School District. We have 11 high schools in the district.

Number of students enrolled in school

No clue! I know that last year, the school was about 124% capacity and still growing - we have bad overcrowding in the high schools right now. Two new highs schools will open in another year and that should help. The school isn't built for lots of kids - I think they're probably around 2,000.

General description of school and communities served

This happens to be the high school I graduated from. It's in "old Sparks" and lot of the old houses are now low income or apartments. It's urban with a high at-risk population, fairly high number of hispanics, probably some african-americans. Most of the staff has been there for years - they get attached and don't leave. The principal is new and has recruited a number of high energy people - most with lots of technology experience - although the school has practically no computers for kids.

School's home page

http://www.sparkshigh.com

Next year's class assignment

I'll be teaching the lowest two math classes we give math credit for in high school - we call them Core B and Core C. The courses are intended to provide a strong enough algebra background so that when students finish they get an Algebra credit. But they also fulfill all the Nevada State Math Standards, from geometry, probability, data analysis, and number as well as algebra. As of last school year, all students must have 3 years of math to graduate, but before that, only 2 were required. Many of our students took only these 2 courses. At Sparks, about 70% of their student population take these classes.

Any general bio information

I spent the last 6 years as the K-12 Math Program Coordinator for Washoe County School District. Before that I was the Secondary Math and Computer Coordinator for 3 years, Math and Textbook Consultant for the Nevada Department of Education for a year, and taught high school math for 13 years before that. I've received several awards, including Presidential Award, Nevada State Teacher of the Year, and Nevada Educator (that's the Milken Family Foundation Award). I've served on the Editorial Panel for the Mathematics Teacher, the Program Committee for the NCTM Annual Conference in San Francisco, and currently on the Program Committee for the NCTM Regional in Yakima WA. I chaired "Special Projects" for the NCTM Regional in Reno 2 years ago (we did a Math Trail through the hotel/casino where the conference was held) and have been appointed to a new editorial panel for NCTM on "meeting the needs of new teachers."

Any major interest outside of education?

I have a wonderful husband and 3 sons, grades 2, 4, 6 next year. My husband has always been my best supporter, and has even stayed home with my boys so I could do the Program Coordinator job and work all those late hours! I enjoy needlework when I have time and reading (mostly science fiction).

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