Mathematics is more than numbers and equations. It is a journey, a process of thinking, an exercise in problem-solving that requires both an understanding of basic concepts and the ability to think critically.

The role of the Mathematics Department at St. John’s is to help students connect to mathematics, its ideas and its applications. Four years of math are required for all students, who must complete courses through Algebra II. All courses are designed for college preparation, so students will be prepared for college-level math. The department offers courses that satisfy all levels of mathematical skills, from basic Algebra and Geometry through honors courses and on to AP classes in Statistics and Calculus at both the AB and BC levels

Through the use of classroom discourse, technology and teacher guidance, students learn to conjecture, invent and solve problems. They build a foundation in math that will serve them well in whatever their ultimate career path they ultimately choose.

Course Offerings

Freshman Year
Algebra 1
Honors Algebra 1/ Geometry
Honors Algebra 2
Sophomore Year 
Algebra 2 
Honors Algebra 2 
Honors Precalculus
Junior Year 
Algebra 2 
Honors Precalculus 
AP Statistics 
AP Calculus AB 
AP Calculus BC
Senior Year 
Algebra 3 
Honors Calculus 
AP Statistics 
AP Calculus AB 
AP Calculus BC

Math Prerequisites

All 8th-grade students should have mastered (without a calculator): 
  • Arithmetic concepts, such as adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing whole numbers, fractions, decimals and integers 
  • A basic understanding of exponents 
  • Correct order of operations when performing computations 
  • Simplifying like terms: 2x + 5y - 6x – 10y = -4x – 5y 
  • Solving a linear equation: 9x+3=14x+8 
  • Applying the distributive property: -7(3x+9) 
  • Graphing ordered pairs on a coordinate plane 
  • Basic geometry formulas: area and perimeter of squares, rectangles, triangles and trapezoids 
Students should also have developed good organizational and note-taking skills. On notes, homework, tests and quizzes, work should be written neatly and arranged in an orderly fashion. When solving a problem, a premium is placed on showing work in steps under the problem. 

Extracurricular Opportunities

The Math Department offers two math competitions. In February, there are the AMC10 and AMC12 (AMC = American Mathematics Contest) math contests. Both involve completing 25 challenging multiple-choice questions without using a calculator during a 75-minute period. Those students who perform extremely well advance to take the AIME (American Invitational Mathematics Examination) later that spring (a three-hour, 15-question contest with all answers integers between 0 and 999). Approximately half a dozen students have qualified for AIME over the last 15 years. Those students who do well on the AIME may be added to Team USA to compete in the Junior Math Olympiad. For additional information, click here
The other math competition offered is the University of Maryland’s High School Math Competition in October, which is open to all DC and MD high school students. Part I involves 25 multiple-choice questions during a 75-minute period. Those students who do well advance to take Part II, which involves completing five free-response problems during a two-hour period. Approximately 10% of all Part I competitors advance to Part II. The top three scorers each year are awarded a scholarship for full tuition and expenses at the University of Maryland. For additional information, click here.  

Mathematics Faculty

List of 12 members.

  • Photo of Selma Solera

    Selma Solera 

    Department Chair, Math; Honors Algebra 2, Honors Calculus
    202-363-2316 x1940
    University of Maryland - B.S.
    University of Maryland - B.A.
    Saint Mary's University of Minnesota - M.A.
  • Photo of Antwon Bailey

    Antwon Bailey 

    Algebra 2, Precalculus
    202-363-2316 x1993
    Syracuse University - B.S.
  • Photo of Duane Carr

    Duane Carr 

    Precalculus, Honors Algebra 2
    202-363-2316 x1938
    George Mason University - B.A.
  • Photo of Paul DeStefano

    Paul DeStefano 

    Geometry, Trigonometry
    202-363-2316 x1043
    Catholic University - B.A.
  • Photo of Elizabeth Eways

    Elizabeth Eways 

    Algebra 1, Honors Precalculus
    202-363-2316 x1935
    Catholic University - B.S.
    Catholic University - M.A.
  • Karrisa Jackson 

    Algebra 1, Algebra 2
    202-363-2316 x1936
    Ball State University - B.A.
    Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis - M.A.
  • Photo of Thomas Lander

    Thomas Lander 

    Honors Algebra 1/Geometry, AP Calculus AB
    (202) 363-2316 x1941
    Susquehanna University - B.A.
  • Ian MacInnes 

    Algebra 1, Algebra 2
    202-363-2316 x1997
    Elon University - B.A.
    Notre Dame of Maryland University - M.A.
  • Photo of Kevin Morse

    Kevin Morse 

    Geometry, AP Statistics
    202-363-2316 x1901
    Loyola University (Chicago) - B.S.
  • Sarah Pankratz 

    Algebra 1, Algebra 2
    202-363-2316 x1937
    Wheaton College - B.A.
    Michigan State University - M.A.
  • Photo of Bill Pribac

    Bill Pribac 

    Head Girls' Volleyball Coach; Geometry
    202-363-2316 x1973
    Earlham College - B.A.
  • Photo of Mike Sheehy

    Mike Sheehy 

    AP Calculus BC, Honors Precalculus
    202-363-2316 x1942
    University of Notre Dame - B.S.
    University of Portland (OR) - M.A.T.
    University of Wisconsin - M.S.