“This is where I want to be,” WW Teaching Fellow Matt Oney told the Jackson Citizen-Patriot–in a high-need high school getting the students who most need the help excited about science. “I like seeing that light bulb go off.”
Four Fellows were featured in the Cit Pat’s January 28 article on the W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s Woodrow Wilson Michigan Teaching Fellows who are now doing their clinical preparation at Jackson High Schoolin Jackson, MI.
Dr. Oney, a plant biologist, is now in the middle of a year of field work at Jackson High School that’s intertwined with his master’s-level teaching preparation. He and three colleagues–chemist Ben Weaver, molecular biologist Clinton Bartholomew, and physicist Damian Kahn–are all doing their WKKF-WW Fellowships at Michigan State University.
In speaking with reporter Leanne Smith, the Fellows all emphasized how important it was to them to work with students who might not otherwise get a strong science background. “I want to help teach kids so they’ll be better prepared when they get to college,” Mr. Khan told the reporter. Dr. Bartholomew echoed the sentiment: “I can make a larger difference and a much greater impact at the high school level.”
Dr. Gail Richmond, who directs the Fellowship program at MSU, notes that “the entire staff [at Jackson HS] have been so happy
with these four Fellows and the MSU Fellowship’s support that the principal asked the newspaper to come and do a story.” The principal, Barbara Baird-Pauli, told the Cit Pat that having the four Fellows on board was a “golden opportunity” for her school.
Schools like Jackson HS need committed STEM professionals to teach their kids. What do you think it takes to get first-rate scientists and mathematicians like these four Fellows into the schools that need them most–and why don’t more make that choice?