Dr. Ena Gross
When reflecting on our formative development as a mathematics teacher, most can point to an individual or two who deeply influenced them. Many mathematics teachers in Virginia would point to Dr. Ena Gross.
After receiving her Ph.D. from Georgia State University, Dr. Ena Gross served the VCU School of Education for 34 years as a nationally recognized professor of middle and secondary school math education. At VCU, Dr. Gross was the recipient of numerous School of Education awards for her work (two awards for teaching and one for service) and also received the University’s Distinguished Teaching Award, becoming one of a handful of School of Education faculty so honored with university recognition. Dr. Gross’ passion for excellence in math education was infectious in her classroom. She was dedicated to helping teachers understand the mathematics they teach, how their students learn mathematics and how to facilitate that learning. She mentored and influenced hundreds of phenomenal Virginia middle and secondary math educators.
Dr. Gross’s advocacy and passion was evidenced by her leadership in the Greater Richmond Council of Teachers of Mathematics, the Virginia Council of Teachers of Mathematics, the Virginia Council for Mathematics Supervision, the Virginia Mathematics and Science Coalition, and the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. She served on the Greater Richmond Council of Teachers of Mathematics board as president and was always on the conference program as either a keynote speaker or a workshop leader. As a member of VCTM, she was on the scholarship committee, on the conference program committee and had won the VCTM Outstanding Faculty award. Dr. Gross served as co-chairmen of the first Richmond NCTM Regional Conference and co-chaired an administrators’ conference. She had served as the meetings chair for the national NCTM conference and presented nationally and internationally. Dr. Gross believed that understanding mathematics led to understanding the world. She was an inspiration to all because she was so knowledgeable, so creative and so willing to share. She was also responsible for numerous state and national grant programs such as a 5-year NSF statistic grant specifically for Virginia’s middle school teachers and with Virginia’s NSF- Mathematics Specialist Program.
In her personal and professional life, Dr. Gross modeled courage, grace, strength, and innovation. Her passion for excellence in mathematics education and developing teachers and coaches that valued connected, personalized mathematics instruction was only eclipsed by her kindness and compassion.