Emma Vierheller considers herself fortunate to have had excellent teachers throughout her K-12 education. In particular, she was profoundly influenced by her mathematics teachers. “I was able to watch them make connections with students who otherwise would have been forgotten and disregarded.” In college, Emma explored political science with the idea of focusing on education policy but felt dissatisfied with the pace of progress nationally. A track and field athlete in high school and college, she had begun to coach the sport. “As a coach, I began to internalize that the impact on a student is immediate, but can last years.” She was drawn to mathematics because of “my own love for the subject and the clear frustration my peers had towards math.”
Emma graduated with a BS in mathematics and a BA in political science from Marietta College. Active as a student leader, she coordinated campus drives for a local women’s shelter and raised money for food insecurity. Emma interned at the Campus Martius and Ohio River Museums in Marietta, Ohio, where she matched exhibits and activities to the Ohio Social Studies Content Standards. She also volunteered with Bridges to Community in Nicaragua, an organization that assists with sustainable development projects in that country.
Accepted into Teach for America, Emma will be teaching at Milwaukee’s HOPE Christian High School. “I wanted to work in an inner-city school because the disparities in opportunities are so prevalent.” She has run the Athens half marathon with her father and sister and hopes to continue running and coaching track and field throughout her teaching career.