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KSTF SELECTS 2013 TEACHING FELLOWSHIP AWARDEES

Comprehensive program offers financial support and
professional development for early-career STEM teachers

Moorestown, N.J., July 24, 2013 – The Knowles Science Teaching Foundation (KSTF) today announced its 2013 cohort of Teaching Fellows. Hailing from 18 different states, the 35 individuals that comprise the 2013 cohort are committed to teaching science, technology, engineering and/or mathematics (STEM) in high schools across the nation. The selected fellows participated in a rigorous screening process. With only 15 percent of the applicant pool being chosen, they represent some of the top talent in the nation. Bringing great diversity to the teaching profession, the 2013 Teaching Fellowship cohort includes a former rocket scientist, a former urban farm manager, several accomplished researchers and four second-generation educators.

The KSTF Teaching Fellowships address the recruitment, training, and retention of exceptional STEM teacher candidates, with the aim of improving STEM education in the U.S. by building a stable, sustainable corps of STEM teacher leaders. Designed specifically to develop beginning teachers into teacher leaders, the Teaching Fellowships offer support and guidance as fellows embark on the credentialing process and their teaching careers.

Throughout the course of the five-year fellowship, fellows are exposed to a variety of teaching resources, curriculum materials, research and subject matter experts. Regular participation in an online community and attendance at annual meetings encourages the development of a community of teacher leaders amongst the fellows.

Dr. Nicole Gillespie, KSTF Executive Director, stated, “The 2013 Teaching Fellowship cohort joins a talented group of educators committed to promoting excellence in STEM teaching at a critical time for STEM education in this country. The addition of their talent, energy and commitment to our nationwide network of exceptional STEM educators allows us to take a significant step toward strengthening the teaching profession, thereby improving STEM education for all students.”

“Stepping out of the lab and into an occupation in education means having the opportunity to make a difference; not only in the lives of the students in my class, but in the school, the district, the community and in the very policies driving science education in our states and in our nation,” commented Clarissa Toupin, a 2013 Teaching Fellow and Master of Education candidate at Arizona State University.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that growth in STEM employment from 2010 to 2018 will be substantially higher than growth in non-STEM employment (17.0 versus 9.8 percent). As advancements in STEM continue to shape the world, the importance of developing and retaining outstanding STEM teachers will continue to increase. “To remain competitive in the global economy, it is imperative that we improve student interest and aptitude in STEM subjects. KSTF Teaching Fellows are uniquely positioned to help our nation meet this pressing need,” added Dr. Gillespie.

According to a 2010 study conducted by McKinsey & Company, 46 percent of American teachers quit before their fifth year. High ability, beginning STEM teachers are among those most prone to leave the profession. Fostering a supportive community for beginning teachers, KSTF retains nearly 90 percent of its teachers after the fifth year of the fellowship.

Paula Gentile, a 2013 Teaching Fellow and recent graduate of the University of Michigan’s Master of Arts in educational studies program, said, “KSTF fellows are driven by a desire to become highly effective teachers. We are excited and inquisitive about continually learning new methods of teaching. KSTF brings these like-minded teachers together and supports them in growing—both as individuals and as professional educators.”

KSTF awarded its first four Teaching Fellowships in 2002. Today, there are nearly 250 Teaching Fellows and Senior Fellows in 39 states. In the 2012–2013 school year alone, KSTF Teaching Fellows and Senior Fellows impacted the lives of more than 12,000 students.

To read the full list of 2013 KSTF Teaching Fellowship awardees, please visit www.kstf.org/community.

Applications for 2014 KSTF Teaching Fellowships are now being accepted. Please visit www.kstf.org/apply to learn more about the application process.