Top teachers recognized
August 15, 2017
Math education alumni selected as Knowles fellows
Two recent graduates from the University of Delaware’s mathematics education program for secondary school teachers have been awarded prestigious fellowships from the Knowles Teacher Initiative.
Amy Fligor, AS17, and Anthony Reid, AS16, are among the 37 early-career math and science teachers selected as 2017 fellows.
The Knowles Teaching Fellowship is a comprehensive, five-year program that supports beginning mathematics and science teachers in their efforts to develop teaching expertise and lead from the classroom.
The fellows are eligible for stipends and for grants to use in purchasing classroom materials and engaging in professional development. The program also provides access to a network of mentoring and coaching from experienced teachers who are committed to improving STEM education.
“The [Knowles] organization seeks ‘dedicated, passionate individuals who are committed to teaching, who demonstrate the potential to develop exemplary teaching practices and who have the potential to lead and drive change in education,’” said Michelle Cirillo, associate professor of mathematical sciences at UD.
“Through their extensive, multi-step application process, which includes a two-day interview process, [Knowles] deemed Amy and Anthony to be two such individuals.”
Both Reid and Fligor say they love the study of math and hope to inspire as well as educate their students.
Reid, who will teach integrated mathematics this academic year at Howard High School of Technology in Wilmington, is himself a graduate of the vocational-technical school system in Delaware, where he also did his student teaching. Teaching at Howard “felt right at home,” he said.
“I chose teaching math because I love doing math and always had an interest in teaching,” he said. “It is important for students to feel confident in class. Moreover, I think they should have teachers who love the content just as much as [they] love working with their students.”
A first-generation college graduate, Reid said he hopes to serve as a role model for his students, helping them see the range of options available to them if they persevere.
“I want to promote equity in math and science fields,” he said.
Fligor will teach math this fall in the upper school of Germantown (Pennsylvania) Friends School.
“I have wanted to be a teacher for as long as I can remember,” she said, “and this, combined with my love of math, made for an ideal career path.”
While an undergraduate, Fligor spent a semester in Hungary as part of the Budapest Semesters in Mathematics Education program, taking math and education classes, observing local teachers and classrooms and working with sixth-graders on their math skills. Schools throughout Hungary place a great deal of importance on mathematics.
“My classroom experiences through UD and my semester studying math education in Budapest helped prepare me to start full-time teaching this coming fall,” Fligor said. “I am excited to take what I am learning from the Knowles fellowship and apply it to my teaching.“
At UD, both Fligor and Reid received an Outstanding Student Teacher Certificate from the University’s Center for Secondary Education — Fligor in 2017 and Reid in 2016.
UD’s math education program was also represented in last year’s cohort of Knowles fellows. Rebecca Guarino, AS15, a 10th grade geometry teacher in New York City, was one of 34 fellowship recipients selected in 2016.