Dena Lordi is a National Board Certified Teacher in Mathematics, Adolescence and Young Adulthood. She teaches mathematics and International Baccalaureate Theory of Knowledge at Diamond Bar High School in Diamond Bar, California, where, for 15 years, she also served as the founding IB diploma program coordinator. She has degrees in mathematics from the University of Notre Dame (1985) and the University of California, San Diego (1987)
Dena is a former LA County Teacher of the Year (2000), whose job experience includes programming for a defense contractor (1985-1986) and teaching a reasoning course for high school students in New Orleans (1999). As a Fulbright Exchange Teacher, Dena spent a year teaching mathematics and coaching basketball in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa (1996-1997). She has been honored with a grant from the DOE to spend a summer working at the Sandia National Laboratories (1994) and has twice been honored with grants from the NEH to study literature (2004) and music (2011) and the ways in which she can link those subjects to her curricula. Dena is passionate about inter-disciplinary teaching and guiding students to see the world of knowledge through a mathematical lens. In her efforts to help students identify themselves as mathematical thinkers whose voices and perspectives matter, Dena focuses on finding ways to embed ideas of character development and integrity into the concepts she is teaching. She has presented professional development workshops on the importance of teaching academic integrity (2014-2015)
In addition to teaching at a California public high school since 1988, Dena has 13 years of experience coaching high school basketball, tennis, and badminton and has been honored as a role model for women’s athletics. Currently, Dena also trains student volunteers for a charity that serves breakfast and lunch every Saturday to anyone who is hungry. She believes that experiential learning is important for academic development and that the students she trains on Saturday will find more success in the subjects they are studying in classrooms Monday through Friday.
Lordi joined CalTAC in 2015.