About Ms. Lenz

I am excited to start my first year teaching at Blue Heron Middle School, and my 14th year of teaching overall. My teaching experience has been exclusively in rural schools and for that reason, I have had the opportunity to teach widely across both math and science.  In math, this has included: Grade 6 Math, Grade 8 Math, Algebra 1, Geometry, Algebra 2, and Discrete Math.  In science: Grade 8 Science, Earth Science, Biology, AP Biology and AP Environmental Science.  

Although I am originally from the Pacific Northwest, I have spent my teaching career thus far in Arizona and Italy.  My husband and I worked seasonally at Olympic National Park before we started teaching, so it really does feel like coming home.  We look forward to showing our 6th grade daughter around the Peninsula.  
Prior to teaching, I trained as a scientist, getting my degrees at the University of Washington and the University of Hawaii.   I worked collaboratively with other scientists conducting research both in the laboratory and field settings.  This included work in cell botany, environmental toxicology, habitat-usage by microbats in managed forest stands, plant ecophysiology and pathology, alien invasive plant control, and rare plant and invertebrate studies.  Most recently, my students and I worked with researchers from Northern Arizona University on a genes and environment climate change investigation.  Several of my students went as far as to present their research findings at several scientific conferences.

It is through the planning and analysis required in scientific research that my love for mathematics grew.  Finally, I could see math applied in the real world!  It is my aim to help students see the interconnections between math and science by exploring math applications to place-based scientific studies close to home.  I also strive to help students to develop a mathematical mindset where they learn to make sense of problems and persevere in solving them, understand that mistakes are valuable learning opportunities, and see the practice of math as creative and connected to the real world. 

I look forward to a great year of learning together! 
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