From Executive Director Nicole Gillespie
The fiscal year ending May 31, 2016 (FY16) included a number of important firsts for KSTF, as well as milestones marking significant progress toward our vision of an educational system in which teachers are the primary agents of educational improvement. The format and content of this annual report is, itself, a sign of how far we’ve come and where we are heading. We hope you’ll find it engaging and intriguing, but most of all, we hope it will provide you with a clear, inspiring picture of the remarkable teachers that we’ve had the honor and privilege of supporting on their collective journey to transform math and science education in the U.S.
On May 13, 2016, we welcomed 34 new math and science teachers to the KSTF community as members of the 2016 Cohort—the 15th Cohort to begin the Teaching Fellowship Program. Although our current resources limit the number of Teaching Fellowships we can award each year, we are nonetheless committed to finding innovative ways to expand the KSTF network and scale our impact. One of the ways we are doing this is by encouraging Teaching Fellows to include colleagues in professional development activities funded through grants from KSTF. In FY16, 11 Fellows took advantage of this opportunity, and extended KSTF benefits to 11 other teachers. When Fellows extend their KSTF benefits to their colleagues, they increase the number of teachers in the KSTF network but, more importantly, they increase the odds of that professional learning taking root and flourishing in their schools.
On September 1, 2015, KSTF reached another significant milestone: for the first time, the KSTF Network was made up of approximately equal numbers of Senior Fellows who have completed the five-year Fellowship and Teaching Fellows currently in the program. As Senior Fellows continue their teaching careers (which the majority do) or transition to new roles in education and other fields, we’ve seen them apply, adapt and amplify what they learned from the Teaching Fellowship Program in ways we never anticipated. Because of this, we are continually learning from them and our Senior Fellows Program continues to evolve in response. This past year we’ve taken steps to make the Teaching and Senior Fellows Programs more of a cohesive trajectory, including placing both programs under the leadership of Jeff Rozelle as the Director of Programs.
KSTF Impact in 2015–2016
taught mathematics and science to over
are still teaching at the high school level after completing their five-year Teaching Fellowship and another 14% are working in education in other roles
3rd-year chemistry teacher
Licking Valley High School
At the annual KSTF summer meeting, Fellows participate in and lead professional development sessions for hundreds of their colleagues. Beverly organized collaborative working groups on standards-based grading at the 2014 and 2015 KSTF summer meetings. Finding this format to be beneficial, she suggested to her principal the addition of collaborative working groups as part of the school’s end of summer professional development. In summer 2015, the district hosted a tech fair to support approximately 100 teachers in their new 1:1 student to Chromebook environment. At the tech fair, Beverly recreated the KSTF experience by leading a collaborative working group on the basics of using Google Docs and Google Drive in the classroom.
3rd-year biology teacher
Horace Mann School
New York, New York
As part of the program, Fellows explore their own teaching practice through practitioner inquiry. Seeking to recreate the KSTF experience at her school, Michelle invited colleagues to join in her in exploring inquiry and student learning as a collaborative working group. During the fall semester of the 2015–2016 school year, the group of approximately five teachers met on a monthly basis to reflect on their teaching practice, and share data and artifacts that demonstrate student learning. “That group was very helpful for me. To some extent it was just nice to take a deep breath and sit with colleagues,” shared a veteran biology teacher who participated in the collaborative working group. “It also offered a very focused opportunity to reflect on my practices and consider other’s experiences as well. It sparked conversations that continued in the office and ideas that would percolate into new approaches to teaching.”
6th-year chemistry teacher
Vista Peak Preparatory
Jeff was introduced to POGIL™(Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning) through the KSTF Teaching Fellowship. Inspired by the Fellowship’s focus on teacher leadership, Jeff received a professional development grant from KSTF for he and a colleague to attend a POGIL™ Facilitator Training Workshop. After attending the workshop, the two presented the basic tenets of POGIL and how they use it in the classroom to 11 teachers at their school. Following the session, all of the chemistry and biology teachers at the school began using POGIL in their classrooms.
9th-year biology teacher
Central High School
In 2013, three KSTF Fellows—KD Davenport, Kirstin Milks, and Rebecca Van Tassell—received professional development grants from KSTF to fund a writing retreat. The 1.5 day retreat provided the time and space for the trio to review published articles in The American Biology Teacher, along with submission and reviewer guidelines. Additionally, the retreat provided time and space for writing sessions. By the close of the retreat they had completed drafts of of two articles to submit to the journal. In spring 2015, The American Biology Teacher published “Using Evolutionary Data in Developing Phylogenetic Trees: A Scaffolded Approach with Authentic Data” by KD Davenport, Kirstin Jane Milks, and Rebecca Van Tassell and “Investigating Tree Thinking & Ancestry with Cladograms” by KD Davenport, Kirstin Jane Milks, and Rebecca Van Tassell. During the 2015–2016 school year, KD presented two hour-long professional development workshops to approximately 25 school colleagues, including non-science teachers. The workshops were based on the activity described in the trio’s article on evolution.
2nd-year chemistry teacher
ASPIRA Early College High School
Four KSTF Fellows—Carly Brown, Tim Ellis, John Holcomb and Michelle Vanhala—received professional development grants from KSTF to fund a three-day meeting for the group. They met in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania prior to the 2015 KSTF Summer Meeting to jointly develop chemistry curriculum that they then taught at their respective schools across the country during the fall semester of the 2015–2016 school year. During the meeting, they turned the Next Generation Science Standards into student friendly “I can” statements that guided their work. After the initial meeting, the group continued to debrief online and some members developed curriculum for the spring semester. To support implementation of standards-based grading in his classroom, John sought out standards-based grading resources from members of the KSTF community. After finding that standards-based grading helped him to better understand what his students did and did not learn, he shared his experience with the principal and assistant principal at his school. At the request of his principal, John led three, one-hour professional development sessions on standards-based grading that were attended by all 30 teachers at the school. He learned that the art teacher wrote learning goals for his classroom and began using standards-based grading immediately following his session.
3rd-year algebra teacher
Oakland International High School
Andrea received a KSTF leadership grant to fund a two-day retreat for the six math teachers at her school. The retreat was aimed at strengthening the numeracy skills of their approximately 390 students. During their retreat, the group developed a list of numeracy skills their students need to master for success in future math courses. Additionally, they began working on a four-year scope and sequence that aligns to the math assessment used by the local community college, and selected a platform to track and assess student growth with regard to numeracy skills. The grant includes funding for the group to meet in summer 2016 to continue creating the scope and sequence and to develop the assessments that would be used.
6th-year biology teacher
Rolling Meadows High School
Oak Park, Illinois
At his first KSTF cohort meeting, Stephen was introduced to the Understanding by Design® framework. Over the five years of the Fellowship, he explored this framework further through lesson study with other Fellows. Stephen shared the Understanding by Design® framework with his wife—Julie Minbiole, a biology professor—who began using it to improve learning in her courses at Columbia College. The two shared the insights they gained from implementing Understanding by Design® during a workshop—Improving Course Coherence, Assessment, and Student Engagement using Understanding by Design Planning—at the 2015 National Association of Biology Teachers Annual Meeting. The goal of their presentation (and her accompanying paper) was to foster conversation between high school science teachers and undergraduate-level science professors to facilitate the sharing of pedagogy and practice.
2016 Teaching Fellows
Volunteered with Engineers Without Borders on a water accessibility project in El Salvador
Taught undergraduate chemistry courses for six years at the University of Michigan and the University of Wisconsin
Designed and launched the Outdoor Leadership Course, a stand alone camp program created to develop leadership abilities in high school students over the course of a week-long backpacking trip
Organized several fast food worker strikes as part of a national campaign that led to minimum wage increases in several cities and in the states of California and New York
Developed educational after-school programs and initiated a science club for elementary and middle school students at the Marge Schott-Unnewehr Boys and Girls Club
Designed a series of interactive science, engineering, and computer science workshops for the annual K–12 conference of the National Society of Black Engineers
Spent one year working as an English-language and GED tutor for adults in Dayton, Ohio with AmeriCorps
Spent three years investigating the most effective ways to incorporate 3D printing and 3D design into the mathematics classroom and wrote an article about her findings that was published in the May 2016 issue of Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School, a National Council of Teachers of Mathematics journal
Helped fellow students develop competency in calculus as a peer learning facilitator through the Academic Advancement Program at UCLA
Taught two writing classes for rising ninth grade students, and designed and taught a journalism elective course as a teaching intern with Breakthrough Collaborative in Austin, Texas
Spent one summer in Israel facilitating discussions with 15- and 16-year-old students about Jewish, Zionist, and Socialist values
Studied the effects of ocean acidification and warming on the interactions between coral and bio-eroding sponges as a research assistant with the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute
Sold handmade crafts to raise funds to publish a book of original poetry—Voices of Beautiful Flowers—written by girls she mentored who were detained at a juvenile delinquent facility in Philadelphia
Spent a summer helping research microplastics and how they travel through wastewater treatment plants as a participant in Shaping Inquiry from Feedstock to Tailpipe, a National Science Foundation Research Experiences for Teachers program at the University of Kansas
Taught trigonometry, calculus and math to elementary teachers as a mathematics graduate student at the University of Wyoming
Taught English in a rural Japanese high school for four years
Taught English to fifth grade students while studying abroad in Costa Rica
Led inquiry-based science activities during special museum events as a volunteer at the Exploratorium in San Francisco
Identified plants and sorted biomass as a Plant Community Ecology Intern at the Cedar Creek Ecosystem Reserve in East Bethel, Minnesota
Served as the Director of Education for UCLA’s CityLab, a student-run organization that brought the wonder and utility of science to underserved Los Angeles Unified School District students
Served as a docent at the Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve in Portola Valley, California for two years
Spent two years in Burkina Faso with the Peace Corps teaching eighth grade mathematics in French
Worked as lead teaching assistant for a Princeton University program aimed at getting girls interested in mathematics
Instructed rising fifth through eighth graders in problem-solving, geometry, exam preparation, and forensic science while serving as lead instructor for the Fairfax Collegiate Summer Program
Identified and mapped 36 GHz methanol masers in star-forming regions as a participant in the Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Haystack Observatory
Developed interactive science lessons for inner-city youth in Boston Public Schools as a chemistry science ambassador
Trained more than 100 teachers on the Reasoning Mind program and collaborated with principals and administrators to design implementations that maximized the benefits of the curriculum in the classroom
Served as a founding teacher at the Boston site for Breakthrough Collaborative, an organization that provides academic opportunity for highly motivated, underserved students and puts them on the path to college
Developed content for tours, talks, guided hikes, and the junior ranger program as an interpretive ranger at the National Park Service at Crater Lake National Park
Helped to organize math festivals and math clubs for local schools as an active participant in a Michigan State University math outreach program
Worked as a graduate assistant and an adjunct special lecturer in the Chemistry Department at St. John’s University, in Queens, New York
Uncovered her passion for teaching while working as a mathematics tutor and teaching assistant/grader at Stockton University
Traveled to Belize to collect data on the use of previously installed solar fruit dryers with the Iowa State University chapter of Engineers Without Borders
Developed and taught project-based, student-driven courses for rising 10th–12th grade students as a mechanical engineering and sustainable engineering instructor through Yale University’s EXPLO program
Board of Trustees
Mr. Morris began his financial career at Merrill Lynch in New York. After nearly 50 years in the industry, he retired from UBS Financial Services as a Vice President and Senior Portfolio Manager in the Portfolio Management Program in 2012. He serves on the Board of Trustees of the First Presbyterian Church of Moorestown (N.J.) and the Executive Committee of the Garden State Council of the Boy Scouts of America. Additionally, Mr. Morris is a member of the Advisory Board of the Presbyterian Historical Society. He received his education from The Haverford School and Princeton University.
Dr. Wittmann is a professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Maine, where he’s taught for more than 15 years. Dr. Wittmann is also a co-operating professor in the College of Education and Human Development. He is a founding member of the Maine Center for Research in STEM Education and is the founder and co-director of the University of Maine Physics Education Research Laboratory. Dr. Wittmann holds a bachelor’s degree in physics from Duke University, and a master’s degree and doctorate, both in physics from the University of Maryland.
Dr. Wohlreich is a practicing psychiatrist and a Clinical Professor of Psychiatry (Adjunct) at both the Temple University and the University of Pennsylvania Schools of Medicine. He is the inaugural incumbent of the Thomas W. Langfitt Chair as the President and Chief Executive Officer of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia, the nation’s oldest professional society. His community involvement includes serving on the Board and on the Executive Committee of the Delaware Valley Physicians Aid Society, the Eastern Pennsylvania Geriatric Society, and the Thomas Skeleton Harrison Foundation. Dr. Wohlreich holds a bachelor’s degree in English literature from Swarthmore College, a master’s degree in American civilization from the University of Pennsylvania, and a medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania. He completed his psychiatry residency at Pennsylvania Hospital and the Institute of Pennsylvania Hospital, and his psychoanalytic training at the Philadelphia Association for Psychoanalysis.
Board of Trustees
The KSTF team
The Future of KSTF
Fiscal year 2016 marks the first year that we have more Senior Fellows—teachers who successfully completed the five-year Fellowship—than Teaching Fellows in the KSTF community. In the years to come, we anticipate that KSTF Senior Fellows will play a larger role in determining the direction of the Teaching and Senior Fellow Programs. Further, they will help KSTF to continue to amplify our impact beyond the teachers we support directly.
During fiscal year 2017, KSTF Senior Fellows will lead a pilot of the Coaching Institute that provides coaching to non-KSTF Fellows. Additionally, KSTF Senior Fellows will offer a wide range of services designed to help teachers integrate engineering design challenges into mathematics and science courses. For more information, contact KSTF via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.