By Donna Parker
It was during her decade as a school teacher after graduating with a degree in sociology that Wendy Duncan Miller ’95 got a great idea. She’d taught ESL (English as Second Language) in Donna, Texas right out of school before teaching in Japan, then settling in Colorado.
“During those last few years of teaching, it clicked for me how students learn the best! The ESL program teaches language through songs, chants, repetition, and modeling…and that is what triggered my idea,” says the creator of Standout Math, a math language program currently taught in 28 states.
Wendy’s math vocabulary program incorporates visual, kinesthetic, and oral approaches to teach basic math concepts to young children.
“Colorado students began to score off the charts in their standardized testing when Standout Math was used in conjunction with their existing curriculum. What started in 19 schools in my hometown the first year has expanded to more than 250 schools across the country.”
Wendy finished writing her very first Standout Math manual when she was expecting her now 5-year-old twins, Trent and Joshua.
“I was on bed rest for 4 ½ months and I decided to buckle down and finish writing the curriculum. One week before I gave birth, I finished the manual!”
Standout Math has received local media attention in Denver, where Wendy is a standing guest on the Fox TV station.
“I teach the anchors songs on the air and then refer parents to our Munchkin Math Web site for more fun things to do with their children.”
In her spare time, Wendy and her husband enjoy traveling with the twins, ice skating, and playing in the snow. She also remains close to her core group of Trinity friends. They call themselves the “Goddesses” and steal away for a weekend each year, so far having met up in Oregon, Arizona, and Texas.
“Trinity was very important to me. It’s where I made my lifelong friends. One of my other great endeavors there was founding the women’s lacrosse team. I coached those girls for three years and one of our last games against TCU was won by a landslide,” says Wendy proudly.
“Sheryl Tynes, department of sociology and anthropology, also made my college years special. She was an outstanding professor, who counseled me on career choices and was always available and just incredible. Trinity set me in just the right direction and now I’m seeing the enormous impact of my program!”
To date, more than 200,000 children have learned Standout Math, strengthening their math skills and improving their test scores.
You can visit Wendy’s Web sites at www.standoutmath.com and www.MunchkinMath.com or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.