Reneé Smith

Hi, I am Renee’ Smith and I began teaching math in, of all places, a maximum security prison. “I was 21 years old and 99 lbs. soaking wet.” Some of my students were convicted murderers and as scary as it sounds, it was incredibly sad. Many of those men had failed in the school system and then turned to crime. That early experience with public school dropouts, cemented my resolve to help future students understand and succeed in the area of mathematics. To that end I dedicated 16 years to the classroom, teaching 5th grade math through algebra.After obtaining my Masters in Education from Baker University, I joined the ESSDACK team in 2007.  I have presented at the local, state, and national levels but my most worthwhile experience at ESSDACK has been working to take the fear out of math for teachers and students alike.

Although my primary focus has been providing professional development in mathematics, I also devote time to podcasting and creating materials for teachers to use in their classrooms.   My podcasts include, By the Numbers, Just Desserts and Math Snacks.

Working at ESSDACK has provided me the opportunity to do many of the things I love. “I have the time to research current educational practices, I get to be creative, collaborative, and I meet tons of new people.”

Tammy Fellers


At eight years old in the second grade, Tammy fondly recalls thinking, “I want to be a teacher.” Each day when the bell rang, she found herself in her mom’s classroom writing lessons on the chalkboard. Dreaming of her own classroom, she set her sights on the education profession.

Turning her dream to reality with a degree in mathematics, Tammy taught at both Chanute and El Dorado High Schools in Kansas – topics ranging from integrated math to trigonometry. After earning two Master’s degrees from Wichita State University in Curriculum & Instruction and in Educational Leadership, Tammy led a charter high school as Principal and Math Teacher. Remaining in El Dorado, Kansas, Tammy moved to the middle school as Assistant Principal and Athletic Director.

Tammy’s dedication to grow both professionally and personally led her to ESSDACK in 2012. A major focus for her is assisting teachers with research-based math content and instructional strategies. Tammy believes a student should first experience math conceptually before focusing on rules and algorithms.

In 2013, Tammy earned the distinction as an iPec Certified Professional Coach and Energy Leadership Index Master Practitioner. She facilitates learning and growth opportunities for all leaders, including administrators, teachers, and students utilizing Core Energy coaching. Her goals are to support leaders and improve school & work culture by focusing on an individual’s ability to lead himself and others. She coaches leaders to reach optimal effectiveness by taking purposeful action through awareness and conscious choice.

Today’s educational world is exciting yet complex. Tammy seeks to create learning opportunities that engage and meet the needs of increasingly diverse populations. Her challenge to all educators is one of continuous growth to ensure that learning experiences both motivate and inspire today’s students – tomorrow’s leaders.