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Tom Snarsky

Tom Snarsky

2016 Fellow
Malden High School
Malden, Massachusetts

Teaching Discipline


Why Mathematics

“There’s a great quote from Georg Cantor that often gets translated as, ‘The essence of mathematics lies in its freedom.’ In my experience, mathematics was the discipline that most closely tied the creative freedom of the arts with the precision and descriptive power of the sciences. The fact that it provides crucial tools to such a wide variety of other disciplines—natural sciences, information sciences, social sciences, and even the humanities (especially philosophy!)—was icing on the cake.”

Professional Experience

Tom was introduced to teaching while working as a tutor in high school. He gained classroom teaching experience while working as a founding teacher at Breakthrough Collaborative, an organization that provides academic opportunity for highly motivated, underserved students and puts them on the path to college. In this role, he spent one summer teaching math to seventh grade students at their Boston site. Tom spent another summer teaching math to high school students as a faculty member at Brown Summer High School in Providence, Rhode Island. For three years, he was employed by the Poincaré Institute for Mathematics Education, a professional development program for middle grades mathematics teachers at Tufts University. For the first two years, Tom worked as a teaching assistant, helping teachers with their mathematics graduate coursework by holding problem sessions and informal online office hours. For the last year, he worked as a part-time instructor, giving teachers feedback on lesson plans and implementations for pedagogy projects in their graduate coursework.


Tom enjoys literature, music, and golf.

Academic Background

  • Tufts University (Master of Arts in Teaching: Secondary Mathematics)
  • Tufts University (Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and Philosophy)


I think teachers are uniquely positioned to serve as intellectual leaders within their communities. Being a teacher means working directly with students and their families while also continuing to engage professionally in an academic discipline; this means that a teacher can work to bring the ideas and insights of their discipline to life in ways that conform to the needs of their community.

Tom Snarsky
2016 Fellow