The History of NCCTM

On October 9-11, 1969, North Carolina hosted a regional meeting of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics in Raleigh. This was a "first" for North Carolina. The previous August 29th, Governor Robert W. Scott had proclaimed that October 6-12, 1969, would be Mathematics Education Week in North Carolina. Some individuals at that time were contemplating an organization of mathematics teachers in the state which would be affiliated with the NCTM.

Robert C. (Bob) Clary of Roanoke Rapids was instrumental in securing this meeting. He had served as Supervisor of Mathematics at the State Department of Public Instruction, was currently serving as Southeastern Representative on the Committee of Affiliated Groups for the NCTM, and was Conference Chairman. The meeting was held in the Sir Walter Hotel and was well attended.

The North Carolina Educational Association's Mathematics Department served as host of the meeting. Hunter Ballew of Chapel Hill was President of that organization and co-chaired, with John Kolb of Raleigh, the Program Committee. Others from across the state worked with them in preparing for the meeting. Father Stanley Bezuska of Boston College was the keynote speaker at the conference.

Planning a New Organization

Also giving much leadership in the state at that time was Josie Thompson of Rocky Mount, President of the Mathematics Council of the North Carolina Teachers Association. Robert (Bob) Jones of Raleigh was now Supervisor of Mathematics for the State Department of Public Instruction; he, Bob Clary, Josie, and Hunter-realizing that both the NCEA and the NCTA were soon to be merged into the North Carolina Association of Educators-had conversations about a new organization. Each of the two previous organizations, NCEA and NCTA, had mathematics sessions in conjunction with their annual meetings, but they were very limited in that only secondary mathematics teachers who were members might be at the meetings. An effort would be made to form a new organization that involved mathematics teachers from all levels.

At a meeting in Raleigh in February 1970 to make preliminary plans, it was agreed that the newly envisioned organization's dues should be reasonable enough so that all teachers of mathematics could belong ("We were known as a $2 organization in those early years!" says Hunter Ballew), and that every effort should be made to recruit elementary and college teachers of mathematics. A proposal was written to NCTM for funds ($500) to underwrite a meeting of mathematics leaders from across the state to plan the organization's structure.

Becoming an Affiliate of NCTM

NCTM granted this proposal and a meeting was held in Bryson City, N.C., at the Natahala Village Inn on October 9-10, 1970 (the anniversary of the date of the NCTM Southeastern Regional Meeting held in Raleigh the previous year). Josie Thompson, Hunter Ballew, and Bob Jones organized the meeting and sent a letter of invitation to those identified as leaders who wanted to see such an organization come into being. A place in the mountains was chosen because everyone could enjoy the beautiful Fall foliage. Most folks remember, however, a very rainy/foggy weekend-resulting in a lot of work being accomplished and leaves mostly seen underfoot!

Those in attendance at this meeting (many call them the "founders" of NCCTM) were: Bob Jones, Cleo Meek, John Ogle, and Margo Perkins from the SDPI-Mathematics Division, Bob Clary, Josie Thompson, (Hunter was not there; he had another important engagement: to get married!), Ann Carter (later, Ann Hooker) of Raleigh, Geneva Maney and Betty Robinson of Asheville, Margaret Callahan of Shelby, Elaine Bologna and Virginia Newell of Winston-Salem, Katherine Kirkpatrick of Waynesville, Ruth Rufry of Taylorsville, Katye Sowell of Greenville (with son David, 11 years old), Dawson Carr of Pinehurst, Joe Schell of Charlotte, Mary Lu Daggy of Charlotte, Elizabeth Smyre of Claremont, and William (Bill) Smith of Chapel Hill.

Others, representing all levels and areas of mathematics teaching, were invited but could not attend. The purpose of the meeting was to explore "ways to improve the professional organization of North Carolina mathematics teachers. Those in attendance represented teachers of mathematics at all levels from kindergarten through college. The committee addressed itself to discussing ways of 1) affiliating jointly with the NCTM and the NCAE; 2) increasing membership through the inclusion of elementary and college teachers who were almost excluded from the old NCEA and NCTA as they were organized; 3) providing more timely and helpful programs of an inservice nature to more teachers regardless of geographical location; 4) identifying local leadership at all levels of mathematics teaching.

"The committee felt strongly that this proposed organization could take on the responsibilities of the content and inservice experiences in mathematics which are now borne by the NCAE and do it in such a way as to cooperate rather than compete with the goals and objectives of the NCAE.

It was generally agreed, however, that in order to attract more teachers from all levels of the public schools, colleges, universities, and lay persons interested in mathematics education, membership in NCAE should not be a pre-requisite for membership in this organization. Of course for this organization then to qualify as a department of NCAE, the stipulation that required NCAE membership in order to be a member of this department would have to be removed."

Past Presidents

2015-2017: Ron Preston, Greenville
2013-2015: Deborah Crocker, Boone
2011-2013: Betty Long, Boone
2009-2011: Wendy Rich, Asheboro
2007-2009: Randy Harter, Asheville
2005-2007: Jeane Joyner, Raleigh
2003-2005: Jan Wessell, Wrightsville Beach
2001-2003: Diane Frost, Asheboro
1999-2001: Bill McGalliard, Boone
1997-1999: Roger Bruhwel, Charlotte
1995-1997: Robert Joyner, Greenville
1993-1995: Jeanette Gann, Greensboro
1991-1993: Theresa Early, Boone
1989-1991: Ralph DeVane, Cullowhee
1987-1989: Miriam Leiva, Charlotte
1985-1987: Elaine Bologna, Winston Salem
1983-1985: Joe Dodson, Winston Salem
1981-1983: Katharine Hodgin, Greenville
1979-1981: Bill Paul, Boone
1977-1979: Al Myrick, Greensboro
1975-1977: Katye Sowell, Greenville
1973-1975: Virginia Newell, Winston Salem
1971-1973: John Kolb, Raleigh

A Message From Our President

Photo of Julie Kolb
Julie Kolb
Meredith College


You have the power to change the future of Mathematics Teaching in North Carolina.

If you are wondering how you can manage to do this within your packed daily schedules, it may be easier than you think!

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