Denise is an elementary teacher at Hannah G. Solomon Elementary School in Chicago , Illinois . Named Illinois' Presidential Awardee for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching in the area of Elementary Mathematics in 1999, she obtained a Master of Science degree in Education from Northern Illinois University in 2000 and then went on to achieve National Board Certification as a Middle Childhood Generalist in 2002. She has also authored articles on mathematics teaching that appear in the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics publications, Empowering The Beginning Teacher of Mathematics: Elementary School and Empowering The Beginning Teacher of Mathematics: Middle School , published in 2004.
Her connection to the MESSENGER program actually began with a personal interest in another planet that we strive to know more about…Earth! She has worked as a volunteer at Chicago 's Field Museum of Natural History in their fossil preparation lab. This interest translated into classroom activities promoting best practices in teaching when she participated as a school partner in paleontologist Paul Sereno's Project Exploration internet project to connect school children with scientists working in the field in Niger in 2000 and again in 2003. In 2003, she also helped pilot the Illinois State Museum 's Geology Online project, which linked inquiry-based learning activities to the museum's mineral and rock collections.
As a MESSENGER Educator Fellow, she will build upon these science and mathematics experiences as she helps students and their teachers engage in learning activities that move them onward and upward, toward an understanding of space exploration, our solar system, and the goals of the MESSENGER Mission to Mercury
c/o Hannah G. Solomon Elementary School
6206 N. Hamlin
Chicago, IL 60659