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Equity. Access. Excellence.

Denise ThorntonDenise Thornton, M.A.Ed.
Professional Learning Specialist

Phone: 512.232.2250

Dana Center Role

Denise develops and facilitates professional learning and technical assistance with K–12 and higher education educators and administrators to catalyze school improvements that increase student success in mathematics and advance college-and career-readiness goals.

Denise serves as the team lead for the Texas Network for School Improvement Collaborative, a networked improvement community designed to increase the percentage of Black, Latino, and students experiencing poverty who are on track to college and career success by 8th grade.

Denise is part of the strategy team for the Launch Year’s Initiative, and works alongside key leaders in mathematics education and experts in equity in mathematics education serving on the Launch Years Math Organizations Leadership Network (LY-MathLN). LY-MathLN was created to bring together mathematics organizations that have a genuine interest in collaborating to strengthen and advocate for issues related to improving the experiences and outcomes for students in the transition from the last two years of high school and the first two years of postsecondary.

Before Joining the Dana Center

Denise has 20 years of experience in public education, including 10 years coaching tennis and teaching both middle school and high school mathematics in diverse settings throughout Texas and California. After her time in the classroom, Denise served as a campus teacher-leader as well as a district-level instructional coach where she supported students, teachers, and administrators to improve mathematics curriculum and instruction.


M.A.Ed., Secondary Mathematics Education, California State University—Northridge 

B.S., Secondary Mathematics/Kinesiology Texas A&M University—Corpus Christi 

Selected Presentations

Going further: Teaching high school students to speak the language of mathematics through selecting, sequencing and connecting. Presented at the Conference for the Advancement of Mathematics Teaching (CAMT), San Antonio, TX (July 2019).

Harness the waves of change with innovation configuration maps. Presented at the National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics (NCSM) annual conference, San Diego, CA (April 2019). 

Lights! Camera! Principles to action! Presented at CAMT, Houston, TX (July 2018).

#PD2C: Connect and capitalize on social media as a professional learning tool. Presented at CAMT, Houston, TX (July 2018), and the NCSM annual conference, Washington, DC (April 2018).

A deeper look: Teaching high school and middle school students to speak the language of mathematics (part two). Presented at CAMT, Houston, TX (July 2018).

Maximizing the impact of math content leaders. Presented at the Louisiana Teacher Leader Summit, New Orleans, LA (May 2018).

Anticipating and monitoring student discourse. Presented at the NCSM annual conference, Washington, DC (April 2018). 

Professional Memberships

National Council of Teachers of Mathematics 

NCSM: Leadership in Mathematics Education

Texas Association of Supervisors of Mathematics

Texas Classroom Teachers Association