Misha Fredericks: A Local Math Tutor
By L.A. McMahon
From Issue 42: Spring 2019
Small-town virtues are real. They include the security of deep roots in the land and the community, the intimacy of neighbors, the way people take care of each other, and the awareness of those rare people who have the desire to “give back” to the community: real “angels.”
In 2017, Misha Fredericks, a Gardiner resident and math tutor, started to tutor kids in math, for free, at the Gardiner Library. Misha offers one free session per student per month to both children and adults. Currently, her youngest student is in 5th grade and the oldest is north of their 50s. Sign-up sheets are at the Gardiner Library, but there are limited free slots available, and they fill up.
To see more students, Misha also meets them at the Elting Library in New Paltz, the Pine Bush and Plattekill Libraries, and the Sojourner Truth Library at SUNY New Paltz, as well as some home visits.
Math topics available are pre-algebra, algebra 1 & 2, geometry, pre-calculus and SAT/ACT math prep. Misha’s background eminently qualifies her to help others understand and really like math. In school, she was a straight A student, from algebra through to differential equations, and physics. She earned an Associate of Arts degree in Mathematics from Dutchess Community College, with a GPA of 3.93, and a BA in Psychology from SUNY New Paltz (Magna Cum Laude Honors).
Misha began tutoring around 1985 and moved to Arizona for a time, where she did private tutoring in Sedona, followed by a couple of years in Alaska, where she tutored a University of Alaska student in differential equations while the Northern Lights danced across the sky.
Misha really enjoys helping students understand math better, and often will create problems related to her students’ own interests to make math easier to relate to and fun to learn, all with the goal of increasing their math grades. In fact, one of her students recently received the highest algebra grade in her class.
Asked why math tutors are needed, Misha replied, “Teachers today have to move really fast to cover NYS regents [math], and subsequently there are holes in knowledge that may need filling.”
Misha also mentioned “[mental] math blocks” as being a hurdle for some. She herself has dealt with such blocks on occasion. And when asked about her desire to help others, she gave credit where credit is due; her parents instilled concepts like “civic duty” and “volunteerism” in her by being shining examples and setting a high bar for her.
Aren’t we thrilled that people like Misha live and work among us in Gardiner? You can reach Misha at (845) 453-8741.