Tom Lester, Project Director
Thomas J. Lester joined WestEd in 2002 as a Senior Research Associate in the Comprehensive School Assistance Program. He is the project director of the Math Matters program, which provides comprehensive, long-term professional development focused on increasing staff and student mathematical understanding.
Lester has taught mathematics courses for 29 years at California State University, Sacramento. He has also taught at all grades K-12 and also at American River Junior College in Sacramento. He has directed the Math Matters program, a National Science foundation grant, to the California Department of Education and is presently serving the Vartan Gregorian School in Rhode Island. He served as a member of the CSU-UC Mathematics Diagnostic Testing Project developing and evaluating diagnostic tests in pre-algebra through calculus.
Lester has also served as co-director of the Transportation Demand Management Project for Caltrans and the California Department of Education, developing high school curriculum in math, history/social science, language arts, and science. He was co-executive producer, director, and onscreen personality for productions of the Sacramento Educational Cable Consortium which showcased strategies for mathematics and math reform. In addition, he was director of Math A/B for the California Department of Education. He has acted as a math consultant to the Sacramento Educational Cable Consortium and various publishing companies, and as a program specialist in Math/Computers for the San Juan Unified School District in Carmichael, California.
Lester holds a BS in mathematics from Iona College and an MA in mathematics from Manhattan College, New York.
He has co-authored a book in Trigonometry; Director and chief editor of a book for preparation for high school math; and five books on Plexers for problem-solving and divergent thinking. He publishes Plexers six days a week for newspapers.