Noyce Scholar Profile
La Keisha Leonard
Undergraduate major or graduate field of study: Mathematics
Subject area(s) and grade level teaching focus: Algebra, Geometry, grades 9-12
Category of scholarship/fellowship:
Name of Noyce institution:
University of North Texas
Current academic or teaching status:
One year teaching
School and school district:
Hillcrest HS, Dallas ISD
The biggest part of who I am is an Army brat. Traveling to and living in different states and countries has shaped me into a diverse, adaptable, and strong-willed person.
Why do you want to teach:
Since I was a little girl, I have always wanted to become a teacher. Learning new things, helping others learn, and motivating others to excel and strive for academic excellence have been always been my passion. I decided to teach high school mathematics after having an amazing Algebra II teacher. The way my teacher, Coach Weirich, taught and empowered his students was absolutely amazing. My decision to teach high school mathematics was also influenced by the growing number of people I encountered who hated math. As a math enthusiast, I couldn’t understand why others felt that way. Overall, my goals as a teacher are to help my students better appreciate mathematics and inspire an interest in learning.
Describe a memorable teaching experience:
The most memorable teaching experience I have had so far is my students expressing how much more they like math and understand it since they were placed in my class. This experience means a lot to me because I came in mid-year as a newly graduated, first-year teacher. Positive feedback like that has definitely helped me make it through my first year. I’m so happy and humbled that my students respect my craft and enjoy learning mathematics with me.
What does the Noyce program mean to you:
The Noyce program had been a great financial contributor in my last year of college. Without this support, I would not have been able to experience all that I did with teaching. Not only did the Noyce program support me financially, but it has opened many doors to opportunities via conferences, resources, etc. I am very excited to see where being a Noyce scholar takes me in the years to come.