Christine I. Fransen

Title: Mathematics Educator (Retired)
Northeastern Illinois University
Chicago, Illinois, United States

Christine I. Fransen, Retired Mathematics Educator, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Educators for dedication, achievements, and leadership in the field of mathematics education.

Ms. Fransen became involved in her profession because she always admired teachers. She came from a family of eight siblings where five of them were very close, and they would play school in the basement. They had a little blackboard on the wall and chairs, and Ms. Fransen was always the teacher. When she began high school teaching it seemed like the obvious choice. Ms. Fransen was inspired to pursue her dream by her mentor, Ms. Fransen, who was her high school English teacher. The way she taught showed that she deeply cared for her students’ success, and this genuine concern contributed to Ms. Fransen pursuing a career in education. In her senior year of high school, she knew she would teach but she was deciding whether she should teach mathematics or French.

Her teachers told her she could do either one, and Ms. Fransen ultimately opted to pursue mathematics as it drew her in and she felt it was a beautiful subject. She earned a Bachelor of Science in mathematics education from the University of Illinois in 1969 and a Master of Science in mathematics from Northeastern Illinois University in 1971. Ms. Fransen has been certified in adolescent and young adulthood mathematics has been National Board Certified according to Professional Teaching Standards since 1999, and earned re-certification as a mathematics teacher in Illinois in 2009. Ms. Fransen served as a mathematics teacher for Senn High School in Chicago from 1969 until her retirement in 2012. In addition to this, she has been a speaker at conferences, a mentor for Nurturing Teacher Leadership (NTL), assisting Chicago Public Schools’ (CPS) teachers in National Board Certification, and has been a speaker at several Illinois Council Teachers Mathematics (ICTM) conferences.

The highlight of Ms. Fransen’s career was trying to get her children in her calculus class to think independently because so many of them from their previous math classes were told what to do. One day she placed 20 children in a group, proposed a theorem, asked them to prove it, and told the students she was not going to help them. She told them to use the information they were given to solve the problem and eventually, all the kids got up and showed the answer by sharing and explaining how and what it took for them to get to that solution. They proved what Ms. Fransen had asked them to prove and this was one of the most joyous moments of her entire career.

As a testament to her success, Ms. Fransen was the first math teacher in Chicago to become nationally board-certified in 1999. In addition, she was one of six math teachers to be nationally board-certified in 1999, for the State of Illinois. Ms. Fransen holds membership with the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, and the Illinois Council of Teachers of Mathematics. She has earned the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics Teaching in 1996, the Educational Service Award from Blum-Kovler Foundation in 1989, and the Dedicated Teacher Award from the Kate Maremont Foundation in 1982. Furthermore, she has been lauded with an Albert Nelson Marquis Award and has been multiple editions of Who’s Who in American Education and Who’s Who in Science and Engineering as well as the 17th edition of Who’s Who of American Women and the 4th edition of Who’s Who of Emerging Leaders in America.

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