Coordinator Profiles

Arrowhead Chapter

Stoewer

Greg Stoewer is a retired project engineer from the City of Duluth. Greg finds it rewarding to help the community by offering this opportunity for students. MATHCOUNTS acknowledges and rewards students for their extra efforts in math, Greg says.

City of Lakes Minneapolis

Brian Simmons has been a coordinator since 2010, a volunteer since 2007, and an MSPE member since 2004. He is a design engineer working for Bolton & Menk Inc. in their Chaska office. He works primarily on design and project management of municipal engineering projects, and has enjoyed working for this employee owned firm since he joined them as a summer intern while he was still a student at North Dakota State University.

Brian appreciates MATHCOUNTS for bringing the importance of using math in problem solving and real world applications to the kids who will someday be performing some of the same duties he does on a day to day basis. “I hope they’ll use their knowledge to come up with better and more innovative ways to solve the problems we’re tasked with in keeping up today’s infrastructure.”

City of Lakes North

Derek Van Heuveln is a staff engineer with American Engineering Testing, Inc. His responsibilities include being the project manager of construction testing and geotechnical exploration projects. Derek is on the MATHCOUNTS state committee as well as Chapter Coordinator.

One of the things Derek likes best about volunteering with MATHCOUNTS is seeing the students excel and enjoy the spirit of friendly competition. “The competition allows students to challenge themselves in a fun environment. It’s more than ‘just’ a math competition – it allows the students to work both individually and as a group to achieve the best score possible, much like working professionals do on a daily basis. “

City of Lakes South

Sheila Krohse is coordinator for the City of Lakes South Chapter and a state MATHCOUNTS committee member. She is also a past president of City of Lakes Chapter. Sheila is a project manager at the Chaska Office of Bolton & Menk, designing and managing municipal engineering projects.

What she likes best about MATHCOUNTS is “interacting with kids who are actually excited about Math and talking to them about their future goals.” She adds, “MATHCOUNTS allows math-inclined students to use their skills in a competitive nature that further fuels their desire to learn and to meet other kids with their same interests.”

Height of Land

Nick Koos and Brian Yavarow co-chair the MATHCOUNTS event for the Height of Land Chapter. They are new coordinators for 2016-2017.

Lake Agassiz

Graig Gilbertson is a materials engineer with the Minnesota Transportation Department and works out of MnDOT’s Bemidji office. Part of his duties involve using the pavement management system to determine when and how to repair roads and managing the Materials Lab for testing of aggregate, bituminous and concrete.

As for his favorite part of being involved with MATHCOUNTS, Graig says he really enjoys the enthusiasm the kids bring to math. “Students not participating are missing an opportunity to work with a team of students trying to improve their math skills and learning and sharing the skills in a group setting which makes the learning more fun and in many cases more efficient.”

Lake Region

Wayne Stark is the president/owner of Stark Engineering based out of Sauk Rapids. He wears many hats, including marketing, contracts, designing, drafting and project management for various construction projects. Civil engineering, site planning and sustainable design are the primary service areas for Stark Engineering.

“MATHCOUNTS is a way for me to give back to the community,” he says, “and to bring positive exposure to the engineering profession through my interaction with student and teachers. I’m continually amazed at how smart these middle school students are.”

MATHCOUNTS is a great opportunity to increase math fun, teamwork and achievement in schools, Wayne feels, as well as showcasing the math excellence of students.

North Capitol

Chad Davison is the North Capitol Coordinator. He is a project manager with Stantec and works out of their headquarters on Highway 36 in St. Paul. Stantec is one of the Midwest’s largest engineering and planning firms.

Chad likes helping the students experience mathematics in a fun and competitive setting.

South Capitol

Steve Dodge manages the storm water requirements and maintenance andstreet maintenance, and reconstruction programs for the city if Inver Grove Heights. In addition, he works with developers to negotiate agreements, and review plans submitted on residential and commercial developments. He also works with residents to facilitate responses to their calls and concerns.

Being an Engineer, Steve says, “I believe in helping promote a Mathlete competition because it is important for these kids to have a venue to express their talents just like any athlete would. Steve encourages schools not to miss out on a great afternoon (the chapter competition), the camaraderie of other people and students who are interested in math, and to have a place for those kids that enjoy math to compete. “It is especially rewarding to see first hand the bright future we have of talented kids.”

Southeast Chapter

Alex Boecher, is a staff engineer with Braun Intertec in Rochester. His work primarily focuses on environmental remediation and compliance.

Dan Zemke is a project manager for WSB in Rochester out of the 3rd Avenue office. He has been involved with MATHCOUNTS for years because he wants to encourage kids that excel in math to go after their dreams. Dan loves showing students how they can use math to go places and do great things for the rest of your life.

Southwest Chapter

Susann Karnowski, coordinator for the Southwest Chapter, works as a project manager and pre-design engineer also for MnDOT in Willmar, managing transportation projects, including preparation of environmental documentation and geometric layouts and coordination with local “partners.”

Susann like working with the math students. “I like showing students that math can be fun,” Susann says. “It’s also great to see how smart these students are and to give them a first look at engineering as a possible future career choice.”

“MATHCOUNTS is great opportunity to get kids excited about math,” she adds, “and have access to tools and resources to help students. In addition, students could miss out on the opportunity to be recognized and rewarded for doing well at math at local and state levels.”

Traverse Des Sioux

Teresa Burgess is coordinator for the Traverse Des Sioux Chapter, which consistently has the most schools participating. Teresa is a project engineer in Mankato with Bolton and Menk. At work she does municipal and private civil engineering design. Bolton and Menk provides engineering services to communities and agencies in Minnesota and Iowa, in addition to surveying, land development and environmental services for public and private clients.

So many kids have a fear of being different, Teresa says. “MATHCOUNTS is a great chance for them to see that being good at math is a good thing and that’s it’s okay to have fun doing math.”