Jolene has been teaching math at Arete since year one. In addition to her work at Arete, Jolene also teaches middle-school math enrichment classes through the Edina Center for Academic Excellence, and she serves on the board of the Minnesota Council for the Gifted and Talented. Jolene is also the creator of the Virtual Math Club, a web site for students who are interested in developing their mathematical problem solving skills using problems similar to those found on math contests such as AMC, MATHCOUNTS, and other middle-school math contests.
“I love to see the sense of empowerment kids feel when you can lift the curtain to reveal the inner workings behind the magic of mathematics. Many people think that mathematics is a bunch of hocus-pocus; memorize these facts and algorithms and you magically get the right answer. But, mathematics makes sense — it’s all built on the foundation of very simple ideas — and once you understand those ideas and how they fit together, you can create your own magic!”
Jolene has a M.S. degree in Electrical Engineering as well as B.S. degrees in Electrical Engineering and Mathematics from Iowa State University. She was named ISU’s Outstanding Senior in Electrical Engineering in 1987 and received a Research Excellence Award for her graduate research. She worked as an electrical engineer for 15 years before becoming a full-time homeschool parent to her highly gifted son who is now an aerospace engineer. Early in her career she also taught Power Systems Analysis and Technical Calculus at Bradley University while working for a power company in Peoria, Illinois.