Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXI, No. 49
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
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Profiles in Education

(Photo by Linda Arntzenius)
Joanne Krause, Mathematics supervisor, Princeton Regional Schools.

Joanne Krause

Linda Arntzenius

A little over a month into her new role as mathematics supervisor for the Princeton Regional Schools District, Joanne Krause has created a warm and welcoming space for visitors in her office at John Witherspoon Middle School. She’s transformed a small former classroom into Math Central, an inviting space, with rugs, artwork, shelves of books and math materials, not to mention a brand new polished wood table and chair set that Ms. Krause purchased herself and installed with the help of family members. It will serve for meetings with students, teachers, and parents. “My intent is an office where people feel welcome to stop by with questions, bounce ideas around, and look at resources, so the colors are soft, warm, and inviting.”

Ms. Krause, who succeeded Bonnie Lehet — now assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction— joined the district after serving as math supervisor for Hillsborough schools. The 40-minute daily drive to Princeton is an easy commute from her home in Sayreville, the town where she was born and raised with her brother Russell. Her parents Ethel and Wilbur Krause live there and Ms. Krause enjoys her home town’s proximity to the Garden State Parkway and the New Jersey Shore.

Besides being a keen tennis player, Ms. Krause loves the beach at all times of the year. “Sometimes I enjoy the winter better than summer because it’s so quiet and peaceful. Point Pleasant and Long Beach Island are very pretty. Long Branch is great for a quick getaway and Atlantic City for entertainment.” Still, she said, there is a chance she may move to Princeton. It’s a little too early to say for sure but the town’s many cultural offerings are a definite draw. “I’m happy living in Sayreville, but you could say that I have an eye open for a place in Princeton.”

Career Path

Ms. Krause, who graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in mathematical sciences/teacher education from Kean University in 1993, had been on the path to becoming a physician when fate intervened. As long as she can remember, her ambition was to be a doctor. At career day in kindergarten she was asked to choose a picture to color. “There was a boy doctor and a girl nurse but I wanted a girl doctor. My teacher had to cross out ‘nurse’ and replace it with ‘doctor,’” she recalled. “But life has a way of directing your path — during my first winter break, my family went to Florida where my mom had a heart attack. She was too ill to travel back to New Jersey, so I stayed with her and missed the spring semester.” Her brother sent books down to her so that she could continue to study while taking care of her mother for several months, but the necessary laboratory work was impossible for her to make up so she switched to mathematics and pursued a degree in that subject with a minor in statistics. “Math was a natural subject for me, so I switched majors.”

She went on to teach math at Hillsborough High School and received a master’s degree in educational administration/supervision from Kean in 2001. She was high school mathematics supervisor and teacher for the Manasquan Board of Education before becoming math supervisor for the Hillsborough district. There, she oversaw the implementation of the math curriculum for approximately 7000 students and 70 math teachers. She served as administrative member of the CONNECT-ED design team for Hillsborough through Rider University, oversaw the revision and writing of math curricula, and worked in tandem with special education teachers to develop their math programs.

Princeton Goals

Now, at 38, she is defining her professional and personal goals in Princeton. Her priority for the math program, which she points out is already very successful and has a fine reputation, is the K-5 curriculum recently endorsed by the board of education. “My immediate goals are to make sure that we have a program that meets the needs of all the students of Princeton, that it’s consistent across the four elementary schools, and supports the board-approved curriculum. We have a wonderful opportunity to select resources and materials.”

One set of materials familiar to Ms. Krause from her time in Hillsborough is the Everyday Math program, one of three standards-based systems being piloted by teachers in Princeton. “These are all fine programs. The first is always a little bit difficult as you work out all of the kinks so there’s a lot of work ahead.”

As for future plans, Ms. Krause said: “I’d love to go back to school when the time is right, first for my principal’s certification and then an educational or a mathematical doctorate.”

That’s some way off, she acknowledges. First, there is still some settling in to be done. “In one of these boxes there’s a picture of Teddy, my adored Corgi/Shi Tzu mix, that has to go up.”

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