Mathematics

Mathematics is more than numbers and equations. It is a journey, a process of thinking, an exercise in problem-solving that requires both an understanding of basic concepts and the ability to think critically.

The role of the Mathematics Department at St. John’s is to help students connect to mathematics, its ideas and its applications. Four years of math are required for all students, who must complete courses through Algebra II. All courses are designed for college preparation, so students will be prepared for college-level math. The department offers courses that satisfy all levels of mathematical skills, from basic Algebra and Geometry through honors courses and on to AP classes in Statistics and Calculus at both the AB and BC levels

Through the use of classroom discourse, technology and teacher guidance, students learn to conjecture, invent and solve problems. They build a foundation in math that will serve them well in whatever their ultimate career path they ultimately choose.

Course Offerings

 Freshman Year Algebra 1 Honors Algebra 1/ GeometryHonors Algebra 2 Sophomore Year  Geometry  Algebra 2  Honors Algebra 2  Honors Precalculus Junior Year  Algebra 2  Precalculus  Honors Precalculus  AP Statistics  AP Calculus AB  AP Calculus BC Senior Year  Algebra 3  Trigonometry  Precalculus  Honors Calculus  AP Statistics  AP Calculus AB  AP Calculus BC

Math Prerequisites

All 8th-grade students should have mastered (without a calculator):
• Arithmetic concepts, such as adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing whole numbers, fractions, decimals and integers
• A basic understanding of exponents
• Correct order of operations when performing computations
• Simplifying like terms: 2x + 5y - 6x – 10y = -4x – 5y
• Solving a linear equation: 9x+3=14x+8
• Applying the distributive property: -7(3x+9)
• Graphing ordered pairs on a coordinate plane
• Basic geometry formulas: area and perimeter of squares, rectangles, triangles and trapezoids
Students should also have developed good organizational and note-taking skills. On notes, homework, tests and quizzes, work should be written neatly and arranged in an orderly fashion. When solving a problem, a premium is placed on showing work in steps under the problem.

Extracurricular Opportunities

The Math Department offers two math competitions. In February, there are the AMC10 and AMC12 (AMC = American Mathematics Contest) math contests. Both involve completing 25 challenging multiple-choice questions without using a calculator during a 75-minute period. Those students who perform extremely well advance to take the AIME (American Invitational Mathematics Examination) later that spring (a three-hour, 15-question contest with all answers integers between 0 and 999). Approximately half a dozen students have qualified for AIME over the last 15 years. Those students who do well on the AIME may be added to Team USA to compete in the Junior Math Olympiad. For additional information, click here

The other math competition offered is the University of Maryland’s High School Math Competition in October, which is open to all DC and MD high school students. Part I involves 25 multiple-choice questions during a 75-minute period. Those students who do well advance to take Part II, which involves completing five free-response problems during a two-hour period. Approximately 10% of all Part I competitors advance to Part II. The top three scorers each year are awarded a scholarship for full tuition and expenses at the University of Maryland. For additional information, click here.

Mathematics Faculty

List of 12 members.

• Selma Solera

Department Chair, Math; Honors Algebra 2, Honors Calculus
202-363-2316 x1940
University of Maryland - B.S.
University of Maryland - B.A.
• Antwon Bailey

Algebra 1, Algebra 2
202-363-2316 x1993
Syracuse University - B.S.
• Duane Carr

Precalculus, Honors Algebra 2
202-363-2316 x1938
George Mason University - B.A.
• Paul DeStefano

Algebra 1, Trigonometry
202-363-2316 x1043
Catholic University - B.A.
• Elizabeth Eways

Algebra 2
202-363-2316 x1935
Catholic University - B.S.
Catholic University - M.A.
• Thomas Lander

Honors Algebra 1/Geometry, AP Calculus AB
(202) 363-2316 x1941
Susquehanna University - B.A.
• Linda Majkrzak

Algebra 1, Algebra 3
202-363-2316 x1989
William Paterson University - B.S.
University of Rhode Island - M.S.
• Desirae  Matthew

Precalculus, Algebra 2
202-363-2316 x1936
Stony Brook University - B.S.
Dowling College - M.S.
• Kevin Morse

AP Statistics, Precalculus
202-363-2316 x1901
Loyola University (Chicago) - B.S.
• Sarah Pankratz

Algebra 1, Algebra 2
202-363-2316 x1937
Wheaton College - B.A.
Michigan State University - M.A.