Noyce Scholar Profile
Undergraduate major or graduate field of study: Science Education
Subject area(s) and grade level teaching focus: chemistry and forensic science
Category of scholarship/fellowship:
Master Teaching Fellow
Name of Noyce institution:
Kennesaw State University/ I-Impact
Current academic or teaching status:
10 years teaching experience
School and school district:
Peachtree Ridge High School/ Gwinnett County
I grew up in rural Ohio and attended a small high school before enrolling in Miami of Ohio. Education was always important to my family and there are many teachers throughout the generations. As the oldest of four children I often “practiced” teaching by creating worksheets that my siblings had to complete during summer vacations. I love to travel and see how schools function in other countries so that I can bring ideas back to my classroom.
Why do you want to teach:
I love science and I want to be able to pass along some of that passion to others. I know that there are important skills that can be taught through the chemistry or forensics content and I want my students to develop critical thinking skills. We need scientifically literate citizens and I can be a part in creating that culture.
Describe a memorable teaching experience:
I had a group of students a few years ago who were really challenging. They were mostly students who had transferred in from other states and did not have good experiences with education. Just trying to get them to follow general classrom procedures was a challenge and then suddenly I realized that it didn’t matter if they sat in their chairs or sat around the room as long as they were engaged I could let a few things go. One day an administrator walked in to observe me and my students were sitting all over the place, but they were hooked into the lesson. The questions that they were asking showed a true urge to understand stoichiometry and I was so proud of them for how far they had come. I think of that class often when I want to remind myself that as a teacher I make a difference every day with the students in my classroom.
What does the Noyce program mean to you:
The Noyce program has helped me grow as a leader in my school. As a new department chair I faced some challenging circumstances, but with the support of the Noyce team members I was able to not only face these challenges, but to use them to help make my department better. Noyce gives me a forum to talk with other professionals, to grow my content and pedagogical knowledge, and a chance to challenge myself with different lessons and mentoring. It has made me a more reflective, better teacher and I am able to pass those skills on to others in my school.