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The IM Story

IM Employees 23

Our vision is to create a world where all learners know, use, and enjoy mathematics through curriculum, professional learning and community.

– IM Team

Our Purpose

Founded in 2011 at the University of Arizona, Illustrative Mathematics is guided and inspired by educators who work in spirited teams to do extraordinary things.

The result is a comprehensive suite of math curricula, designed to encourage engaging mathematical discussion, supported by tasks, lesson plans, professional learning, and community.

IM K–5 Math™ v.I,  IM 6–8 Math™ v. III, and IM 9–12 Math™ v. I certified by Illustrative Mathematics are available as open educational resources (OER) and free to access by anyone.  To be assured that you are accessing the most current versions authored by IM, we created an IM Certified designation that highlights the organizations with whom we have an ongoing partnership. Additionally, the aligned professional learning certified by Illustrative Mathematics is designed to be interactive and engaging to ensure the immersive experience and best practices needed to seamlessly implement the curricula in your classrooms.

First partnership leads to continued growth.

Open Up Resources 6–8 Math 2.0 was authored by Illustrative Mathematics. Illustrative Mathematics, authored, reviewed and approved all of the content contained in Open Up Resources 6-8 Math 2.0. OUR 6–8 Math 2.0 is a high-quality curriculum, and Illustrative Mathematics is proud of its collaboration with Open Up Resources, which brought one of the first full-course OER middle school math curriculum to students and teachers across the country. Please contact OUR for more information about their version of an IM-authored curriculum.

Our mission is to create a world where all learners know, use, and enjoy mathematics through curriculum development, professional learning, and administrative guidance.

We collaborate with and provide guidance to states, districts, curriculum writers, and assessment writers to help improve mathematics education.

In Appreciation of our Philanthropic Supporters

Illustrative Mathematics has operated as an independent 501(c)3 non-profit organization since 2013.

We appreciate the generous support of our Philanthropic Supporters:

  • The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Carnegie Corporation of New York
  • Chan Zuckerberg Initiative
  • Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation
  • Heising-Simons Foundation
  • The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
  • W.K. Kellogg Foundation

Our Team

Leadership Team

William G. McCallum

William G. McCallum

CEO and Cofounder

Bill McCallum has dedicated his life to helping teachers, educators, mathematicians, and policymakers show fidelity to both mathematical coherence and student learning.

He is an Emeritus Distinguished Professor of Mathematics at The University of Arizona, where he researches number theory and arithmetical algebraic geometry, authors textbooks, and advises researchers and policymakers. Bill’s work as a lead writer of the Common Core State Standards in Mathematics earned him the Award for Distinguished Public Service from the American Mathematical Society and the Dolciani Award from the Mathematical Association of America.

As CEO and cofounder of Illustrative Mathematics, Bill chairs the organization’s board of directors, helping craft IM’s strategic direction and contributing to the curricula. He also represents IM to funders, at speaking events, and in workshops.

Kristin Umland

Kristin Umland

President and Cofounder

Kristin Umland believes that by coordinating the expertise of teachers, mathematicians, mathematics educators, and business professionals, we can help all students realize their mathematical potential.

Before joining the IM team, she was an associate professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of New Mexico (UNM). After joining UNM with a PhD in Mathematics, she carried out research in mathematics education, taught pre-service and in-service elementary and secondary teachers, and conducted education outreach at the local, state, and national level. A recipient of both the Louise Hay Award and the AMS Impact Award, Kristin’s goal has always been to improve the mathematical and pedagogical quality of children’s learning experiences.

LaToya Byrd

LaToya Byrd

VP of Client Success

LaToya Byrd is an accomplished educator with a passion for mathematics education and a commitment to equity and access for all students. LaToya has dedicated her career to supporting educators and improving student outcomes. She holds a BS in Education, an MEd, and an EdD, all from Georgia State University.

Throughout her career, LaToya has been involved in state-level education initiatives, working with the Georgia Department of Education to review state standards, test development, and data review. She has also presented at local, state, and national conferences. Her expertise in mathematics education and commitment to equity have made her a valued voice in education policy discussions.

As the vice president of client success for IM, LaToya leads the team that supports classroom implementation of IM K-12 Math through professional learning for IM teachers, coaches, and school leaders, and through supporting educators who are using other products and services that serve the IM Classroom.

Cam Valentine Braxton

Cam Valentine Braxton

VP of Human Resources

Cam Valentine Braxton, MPA, HCS, focuses her practice on high-impact learning, executive coaching, and human capital systems that use people-centered solutions for today’s multigenerational workforce. An industry-recognized subject matter expert in areas of human resources and talent management, Cam has worked for several prominent education organizations such as TNTP and New Leaders. She has also consulted with Management Leadership for Tomorrow, Peer Health Exchange, and UP Education, among many others. Cam has been a regular corporate trainer for small and mid-sized businesses nationally and in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex since 2017, offering three distinct learning programs.

Cam has an MPA in Organizational Leadership and Emotional Intelligence and a certificate as a Human Capital Strategist by the Human Capital Institute of New York. She is currently studying for a master’s certification in executive coaching.

Dylan Dechant

Dylan Dechant

VP of Product Engineering

Dylan comes to IM with over a decade of experience in design and technology. He values the intersection of design, technology, and education, and believes that building highly collaborative, diverse teams enables organizations to deliver rich, impactful product offerings.

With a strong foundation in architecture, Dylan has led organizations and teams in product discovery, design, and delivery. As IM’s vice president of product engineering, his role is pivotal in advancing the organization’s commitment to education and educational technology through strategic software solutions. His tenure at IM has been transformative—refining processes, nurturing team growth, and implementing novel solutions to complex problems.

Dylan’s leadership style is marked by a commitment to innovation and excellence, fostering an environment that encourages creativity and forward thinking. His unique blend of expertise in technology, management, and design is integral to integrating IM’s content delivery platform with downstream products and partners.

Gail Hartman

Gail Hartman

SVP of Product Strategy and Development

Gail’s career in and passion for education spans more than 20 years. As a classroom teacher, Gail mentored other educators on the creation of meaningful problem-based learning and other interdisciplinary curricula to engage all students. After leaving the classroom, Gail served as a strategic curriculum advisor and instructional design consultant for companies worldwide, creating award-winning robust digital and print educational solutions for students and teachers. Before joining IM, Gail was the vice president of content and media for Achieve3000, overseeing the design and development of K–14 learner-centered literacy, STEM, and social studies products that support social-emotional learning and foster diversity, equity, and inclusion in the classroom.

Gail has served on myriad boards and commissions, including the Library of Congress National Digital Library’s American Memory Educators Institute Board, the Women’s Foundation of Colorado’s Technology Advisory/Girl-Friendly Software Initiative Board, and the Golden Colorado Independent School’s Board of Directors.

Liz Ramirez

Liz Ramirez

VP of Implementation Programs

Liz Ramirez unequivocally believes that education is an essential means of empowerment. This conviction guides her passion for advancing access and equity in the field of mathematics education for students and for teachers.

At Illustrative Mathematics, Liz led the strategic direction and development of IM’s research-based frameworks for enhancing access for both English learners and students with disabilities within IM K–12 Math. The associated resources and professional learning have equipped IM teachers with math language routines that facilitate discourse and language development, as well as access-supporting instructional strategies grounded in the Universal Design for Learning guidelines. Liz also managed several projects focused on the development of tools, resources, and guidance to help districts establish the conditions necessary to successfully implement the IM curriculum.

As the vice president of implementation programs, Liz leads the strategy and development of IM programs for teachers, coaches, instructional leaders, and partner organizations. Liz and her team are committed to the continued advancement of IM’s professional learning for teachers and support for the districts and organizations that serve them.

Brandi Tyler

Brandi Tyler

VP of Brand and Communications

Brandi is a creative innovator in marketing and communications. She has led dynamic teams in defining and delivering brand experiences that achieve key business results.

Before joining IM, Brandi oversaw marketing programs for nonprofit organizations, transportation agencies, and public utilities in varying roles at ICF Next, a full-service public relations firm. Her marketing experience spans several industries, including government agencies, banking and finance, transportation and tolling, and energy efficiency, where she managed integrated marketing, communications, and behavior change campaigns. She is passionate about storytelling, unearthing user insights, and building strong product positioning.

As the vice president of brand and communications for IM, Brandi develops and manages IM’s marketing programs to promote brand awareness and generate leads for IM Certified partners. She uses a strategic approach to market research and competitive analyses to guide decisions on shaping product development and developing winning strategies for IM.

Kristen Welch

Kristen Welch

Chief Financial Officer and Vice President of Enterprise Management

Kristen has a deeply rooted passion and appreciation for high-quality education and learning, and a steadfast commitment to listening to partners and customers while constantly innovating to meet classrooms’ evolving needs.

At Discovery, she served as CFO for Discovery Channel and Science Channel, and as senior vice president of global content operations, she was responsible for producing and broadcasting programs across 32 networks and 220 countries. In 2011, she was named a “Person to Watch” by The Financial Manager, the magazine of the Media Financial Management Association. In 2013, Kristen was honored with a “Women Leading Women” award from the University of Maryland.

As CFO and vice president of enterprise management for IM, Kristen oversees finance, accounting, legal, human resources, and administration. She believes that IM’s impact and success depend on its ability to support and leverage its own diverse talent and expertise.

Board of Directors

Sara Allan

Sara Allan

Sara Allan is the director of Early Learning and Education Pathways at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. She joined the foundation in 2011 as the deputy director of the K-12 team. Sara most recently led the foundation’s work to expand research and development of promising solutions to longstanding teaching and learning challenges that keep students from reaching their full potential. Sara currently directs two program strategies: One focuses on improving outcomes for children in early learning programs, ensuring they enter kindergarten ready to learn. The other helps young people successfully navigate a path from high school through post-secondary, developing agency, skills, and social capital while attaining credentials that enable upward mobility in the workforce.

Previously, Sara was a district-level leader at Portland Public Schools, where she led reform initiatives, which included the school performance management, restructuring the portfolio of schools, redesign of core human resource processes and systems, and directing research, evaluation, data policy, and analysis. Before working in education, Sara was a strategy consultant with the Boston Consulting Group, working with private and public sector clients on issues of strategy, organizational development, and growth in North and South America. She serves as a board member and advisor to for-profit and nonprofit organizations and was recipient of the Broad Residency in Urban Education and a Presidential Leadership Scholar.

A dual citizen, Sara grew up in a family of educators and attended Canadian public schools from kindergarten through graduate school. She holds a BS in Mathematics and Economics (summa cum laude) from the University of Toronto and an MBA from the Richard Ivey School of Business at Western University.

Lisa Carmona

Lisa Carmona

As the president of Highlights Education, which includes Zaner-Bloser and Stenhouse, Lisa Carmona is active in professional communities related to educational research, literacy, and digital learning, including the Westerville Library Foundation Board and NSF research grant advisory boards.

A high-energy leader with more than two decades of success in educational publishing and technology, she has served in senior leadership roles at McGraw-Hill Education, Frank Schaffer Publications, and School Zone Publishing.

Lisa holds an MBA from Ohio University and a BA from Central Michigan University.

Michael Casserly

Michael Casserly

Michael Casserly is a strategic adviser for the Council of the Great City Schools. He previously served as the council’s executive director for 29 years, during which time he unified urban schools nationwide around a vision of reform and improvement; convened the first Education Summit of Big City Mayors and Urban School Superintendents; led the nation’s largest urban school districts to volunteer for the National Assessment of Educational Progress; led the first study of common practices among the nation’s fastest-improving urban school districts; and launched national task forces on achievement gaps, leadership and governance, finance, professional development, and bilingual education.

While director of legislation and research for the council, Michael initiated major reforms in Title I, vocational education, and drug-free schools. He also initiated and wrote the federal Magnet School Act and the Urban Schools of America Act. Michael has written studies, reports, and op-eds on urban schools, including “Beating the Odds,” the nation’s first look at urban school performance on state tests. His legislative work has been the subject of a college textbook on how Capitol Hill really works.

Michael is a US Army veteran and holds a PhD from the University of Maryland and BA from Villanova University

Barbara Chow

Barbara Chow

Barbara Chow serves as the education program director at the Heising-Simons Foundation.

Her early years of service were spent working for the Senate Democratic Policy Committee and the Senate Budget Committee, followed by the Clinton Administration, where she was deputy director of the Domestic Policy Council; associate director for education, income maintenance, and labor programs at the Office of Management and Budget; and special assistant to the president for White House Legislative Affairs.

Barbara went on to serve as the House Budget Committee policy director and the executive director of the National Geographic Education Foundation. She also spent eight years as the education program director for the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

Barbara holds an MA in Public Policy from the University of California, Berkeley, and a BA in Government from Pomona College. In addition to serving on the board of Illustrative Mathematics, Chow is also on the boards of the Learning Policy Institute, the National Public Education Support Fund, and PBLWorks.

Heather Hill

Heather Hill

Heather Hill studies policies and programs designed to improve mathematics teacher and teaching quality at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Her recent research focuses on teacher professional development, instructional coaching, teacher evaluation, changes over time in teachers’ mathematical knowledge and instructional quality in mathematics, and teacher experiences and characteristics that lead to high-quality instruction and stronger student outcomes.

Heather and her team have developed assessments that capture teachers’ mathematical knowledge for teaching and teachers’ mathematical quality of instruction, assessments now widely available to researchers, instructional coaches, evaluators, and policymakers via online training and administrative systems.

Heather is a fellow of the American Educational Research Association (AERA) and serves on the AERA grants board. She also serves on the editorial boards of several journals, and as an advisor to numerous research projects and policy efforts in the US and abroad. She is coauthor of Learning Policy: When State Education Reform Works with David K. Cohen (Yale University Press, 2001).

Heather holds a PhD from the University of Michigan and a BA from Swarthmore College.

William G. McCallum

William G. McCallum

Bill McCallum has dedicated his life to helping teachers, educators, mathematicians, and policymakers show fidelity to both mathematical coherence and student learning.

He is an Emeritus Distinguished Professor of Mathematics at The University of Arizona, where he researches number theory and arithmetical algebraic geometry, authors textbooks, and advises researchers and policymakers. Bill’s work as a lead writer of the Common Core State Standards in Mathematics earned him the Award for Distinguished Public Service from the American Mathematical Society and the Dolciani Award from the Mathematical Association of America.

As cofounder and CEO of Illustrative Mathematics, Bill chairs the organization’s board of directors, helping craft IMs strategic direction and contributing to the curricula. He also represents IM to funders, at speaking events, and in workshops.

Paul Palmer, Jr. II.

Paul Palmer, Jr. II.

Paul Palmer is a leader in targeted marketing, partnership development, and DEI with 30 years of experience in industry and higher education. A professor of marketing at the Indiana University, Kelley School of Business, he teaches courses in consumer behavior, advertising and promotions, and modern trends in marketing. He also led IU’s DEI efforts for the MBA program and has won numerous teaching awards, including IU Trustees Teaching Award, Student Choice Award, and the IU Access the World through Education Award.

Prior to IU, Paul achieved 20 years of business and management success, including P&G, Hasbro Toys, and American Greetings. Paul is a member of the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology Board of Trustees, the Consortium for Graduate Study in Management, and the NAACP.

Dominick Sekich

Dominick Sekich

Dominick Sekich, partner and attorney at Moye White LLP, provides strategic counsel in complex real estate, corporate, information technology, and regulatory matters. He advises companies concerning business planning and formation, contracts, strategic negotiations, and vendor relationships, as well as intellectual property licensing and use agreements.

Dominick’s experience also includes negotiating complex information technology service agreements, licenses, trade arrangements, and technology-related contracts. Through strategic guidance, he seeks to promote best corporate practices and healthy relationships that positively impact his clients’ business initiatives.

He received his BA from The Colorado College, his MS from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and his JD from Georgetown University.

Kristin Umland

Kristin Umland

Kristin Umland believes that by coordinating the expertise of teachers, mathematicians, mathematics educators, and business professionals, we can help all students realize their mathematical potential.

Before joining the IM team, she was an associate professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of New Mexico (UNM). After joining UNM with a PhD in Mathematics, she carried out research in mathematics education, taught pre-service and in-service elementary and secondary teachers, and conducted education outreach at the local, state, and national levels. A recipient of both the Louise Hay Award and the AMS Impact Award, Kristin’s goal has always been to improve the mathematical and pedagogical quality of children’s learning experiences.

Kristin is cofounder and president of IM.

Denise Walston

Denise Walston

Denise M. Walston is the chief of curriculum for the Council of the Great City Schools (CGCS). Her work supports 77 large urban districts with implementation of college and career readiness standards, developing resources to support implementation, improvements in student achievement, and helping districts eliminate opportunity gaps. While her background is in mathematics, she now works with district directors and leaders for the four core content areas.

Prior to CGCS, she served as the senior coordinator of K–12 mathematics in Norfolk Public Schools, working with district leaders to create the Algebra for ALL initiative. She also collaborated with mathematicians and mathematics leaders to create a preparation program for mathematics specialists.

Denise has served on the board of directors for NCTM, as vice president of the NCSM, president of the Virginia Council for Mathematics Supervision, president of the Beta Beta chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma (a professional society of women educators), and as a board member of both the Virginia Mathematics and Science Coalition and the Benjamin Banneker Association.

Denise received her BA from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and her MSEd from Old Dominion University with a concentration in mathematics. She has also completed study at the Woodrow Wilson Institute (geometry) at Princeton University, George Washington University, and the College of William and Mary.

George Zettler

George Zettler

George Zettler is a mathematician and financial manager. He is a cofounder and managing member of Flowing Shape Advisers, LLC, a consulting group specializing in mathematical analysis.

Prior to Flowing Shape, Zettler cofounded Ellington Management Group LLC and held a position at Kidder Peabody.
George also served as a professor of mathematics at Columbia University for nine years, where he conducted original research in representation theory and algebraic geometry.

He holds a PhD and an AB in Mathematics from the University of Maryland and Harvard University.