NCTC math teacher

North Central Texas College math instructor Marla Owens, left, assists student Victoria Brewster of Chico with some math homework at the Corinth campus.

A North Central Texas College instructor is leading a national organization that trains and certifies tutors to help students.

Marla Owens, who is in her third year teaching developmental math on the NCTC Corinth campus, is serving as president of the Association for the Tutoring Profession (ATP).

Owens is in her second year of a two-year term as president. She was a membership chairman with ATP, then served as president-elect for two years before assuming the top leadership position.

ATP individually certifies and trains tutors, directors and coordinators across the nation.

For Owens, the decision to get involved in tutoring actually began while she was still a college student herself.

“I’ve always been good at math. It just comes easy for me,” she said. “Even before I graduated, I would tutor the football team and basketball teams at Langston University. So that’s how I got started. It just kind of carried over. Everywhere I went, people asked me to help them, so Ijust started doing it on the side. People would ask me what kind of credentials I had, and at the time I had nothing. I just did it because I was good at math. So people told me that I needed to get certified.”

Her exceptional work as a math instructor and leader in a national organization has not gone unnoticed by NCTC administrators. Roy Culberson, the Dean of the Corinth campus, said he is proud that one of his employees has reached such a high office with a national association.

“We’re always excited about our staff and faculty members being involved in off-campus programs,” Culberson said. “(Owens) represents our institution very well. She has done an outstanding job here and has done an outstanding job in her second term as president. We’re looking forward to her completing her term in office and being a great ambassador for NCTC.”

For Owens, the best part of being a teacher or working as a tutor is the effect it has on students’ lives.

“I’ve always loved helping people and math is my niche, so just to see that light bulb go off is nice,” she said. “If I can just help one person understand a little something when it comes to math, I think I’ve done my job. I just had a student come by the other day and she told me that when she was in my class, she said she just hated going to math class. But she told me ‘I just want you to know I miss you because you really helped me and I didn’t realize it at the time.’ And that really makes you feel good.

“So if I can just help one person feel better about math, then I’ve done my job.”

 

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