Jessica Tomei

Jessica believes that meaningful education comes from exploration and discovery, thinking deeply about ideas, and connecting ideas to each other and to the world. She enjoyed mathematics as a child, and her love for the subject quickly became a love for teaching it when she began tutoring her siblings and friends in middle and high school. It surprised nobody when she decided to pursue teaching as a career.

Jessica began teaching high school in Los Angeles in 2017, where she quickly developed a love for teaching through problem-based math instruction. A quote by Roger Lewin, “Too often we give children answers to remember rather than problems to solve,” inspired her to explore methods of education that focused on thinking and problem-solving skills instead of memorizing content. During the 2018-19 school year, she participated in beta-testing for the Illustrative Mathematics high school curriculum.

In addition to teaching high school, Jessica has developed a Problem Solving Strategies course for the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth. This course focuses on strategies that can be used to solve problems ranging from typical math problems to puzzles and riddles.

Jessica earned her B.A. from the University of California Berkeley, majoring in both mathematics and in theater and performance studies. She also holds an M.S. in social entrepreneurship from the University of Southern California.