Henry Sibley High School
Mendota Heights, Minnesota
Growing up in a small town in northern Minnesota, Rebekah Johnson had a limited choice of math and science courses. Having taken every math class Pelican Rapids High School offered, she and a group of friends asked their algebra teacher to consider introducing AP calculus their senior year. The teacher spent the summer getting his certification in the school's first AP course and "humbly and enthusiastically relearned the subject alongside his students the following year."
While Rebekah enjoyed math, she loved to study geology. After earning a BS in geology from Carlton College in Northfield, Minnesota, she took time off to gain work experience. She worked in Washington, DC, at the Alliance for Global Justice, an international organization that promotes educational and enviromental projects in Nicaragua and Venezuela and, with her husband, co-founded a pre-school in a rural village in the Dominican Republic. She also taught science for a year at a Quaker high school in Providence, Rhode Island, where she worked closely with a mentor who “celebrated learning for life” and whose teaching style Rebekah admired. The experience convinced Rebekah that teaching would be a life “of constant surprises and intellectual growth.”
As an undergraduate, Rebekah was awarded a scholarship from the American Institute of Professional Geologists and was Carlton College’s Duncan Stewart Fellow. She is an avid marathon runner and cyclist who loves all things outdoors. Recalling her high school AP Calculus experience, Rebekah hopes to teach in a rural setting. “I think that the overall lack of diversity in science and math classes that are offered in rural settings is unfair, not only to the students, but to the teachers. As a KSTF Fellow, I hope to motivate my students and fellow teachers to seek broader educational opportunities.”