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Equity. Access. Excellence.

Denise ThorntonPhone: 512.232.2250

Dana Center Role

Denise provides professional learning opportunities and resources for teachers and leaders to catalyze school and district improvements that increase student success in mathematics and advance college- and career-readiness goals. She designs, plans, and facilitates development experiences for teachers and leaders—both in person and virtually. 

Denise serves as the secondary content lead on the Louisiana Department of Education Content Leader Initiative, a project that provides professional learning across the state while building capacity for leadership within districts and the state. She also served as a secondary content developer and professional learning facilitator on the U.S. Department of Defense Education Activity’s System-wide PK-12 Mathematics Professional Learning Initiative, a project providing a series of aligned, coherent, and interdependent professional development sessions that build the capacity of DoDEA educators to ensure that all students graduate college and career ready in math. In addition, Denise is a part of a strategy team for the Dana Center’s Launch Year’s initiative, which seeks to usher in a new paradigm to support students for college preparation and guide them through pathways for degree attainment, specifically focusing on the transition from junior year of high school through their junior year in college. 

Before Joining the Dana Center

With 19 years of experience in public education, Denise’s compassion for educators is evident through her active role in creating and delivering professional development at the district, state, and national levels.

Prior to joining the Center, Denise spent 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