Noyce Scholar Profile
Undergraduate major or graduate field of study: BS in Computer Science, Masters in Secondary Education
Subject area(s) and grade level teaching focus: 8th grade math/Algebra
Category of scholarship/fellowship:
Fifth year or post-baccalaureate Noyce scholar
Name of Noyce institution:
University of North Texas
Current academic or teaching status:
7 years teaching experience
School and school district:
Lake Dallas Middle School/ LDISD
I graduated with a degree in Computer Science and a minor in mathematics from Texas A&M University. After 15 years in the corporate world, I was laid off. I decided I wanted to make a difference more than a dollar, so I enrolled at UNT’s post-baccalaureate teaching certification program. I was awarded the Noyce scholarship in 2006 and ultimately received my Masters in Secondary Education from UNT in 2010.
Why do you want to teach:
I was called to be a teacher.
Describe a memorable teaching experience:
My entire educational philosophy can be summed in one sentence that I learned while I was a manager in my previous corporate employment: “People don’t care what you know until they know that you care.” This was solidified by a young man from my first year of teaching. He was really being difficult in class the day after missing an important lesson. He blew up and stormed out of the room. When I asked him about his behavior, he responded, “My dad got arrested this morning.” He had missed the previous day of school because he was in the emergency room after receiving a beating from his father. I realized he was struggling with far larger problems than 8th grade math, so I cut him some slack after taking the time to find out the root cause of the behavior. The next year, he came back and asked me to tutor him in Algebra, not because of what I had taught him in 8th grade math, but because he knew I cared enough about him to help him. Four years later, his dad sent me a picture message of his first college algebra test. He made a 103!
I have never forgotten the lesson he taught me.
What does the Noyce program mean to you:
It changed my life … literally. The Noyce scholarship allowed me to fulfill my dream and my calling. I had a wife and three children when I got laid off. We could barely fulfill our financial commitments during the 6 months I was out of work, much less have afforded to pay the cost of certification as well. It also funded half of my masters degree, so it really did change my life and my earning potential. Thank you!!!