MPER is led by two co-directors, Dr. Mary Laffey, former teacher, principal, and district administrator with Columbia Public Schools, and Dr. Zandra de Araujo, Assistant Professor in Mathematics Education with the MU College of Education.


Dr. Mary A. Laffey was chosen as MPER Co-Director following a search that involved college faculty and partner school administrators from across the state. In addition to her extraordinary service as teacher, principal, and district administrator, Dr. Laffey retired from Columbia Public Schools in 2011 as Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources. Dr. Laffey also serves as the Senior Advisor for the Kansas City School District. She received her BS, MEd, and PhD degrees from the MU College of Education where she has served as an adjunct professor for nearly 20 years, in addition to coordinating ELPA’s recent EdS and PhD cohort programs in Kansas City.


Dr. Zandra de Araujo is the Director of the MPER Early Career Scholars Program and an Assistant Professor in Mathematics Education in the Department of Learning, Teaching, and Curriculum at the University of Missouri. Dr. de Araujo is a former public high school mathematics teacher and she currently teaches courses for elementary and secondary preservice teachers, inservice teachers, and graduate students. Her research examines teachers’ use of mathematics curriculum.


Learn more about MPER Leadership:

Governing Board Operations Council