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2014 class of Woodrow Wilson Ohio Teaching Fellows named

7/10/2014 - West Side Leader
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By Staff Writer

COLUMBUS — Nearly 80 Woodrow Wilson Ohio Teaching Fellows were named June 30 at the Ohio Statehouse by the Ohio Board of Regents, the Ohio Department of Education and the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation.

The Woodrow Wilson Ohio Teaching Fellowship recruits top-quality teacher candidates to teach math and science in high-need Ohio schools. The fellows include both accomplished career changers and outstanding recent college graduates, all with previous STEMM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine) backgrounds. They complete a master’s program that includes a full year of practical experience in local classrooms, then commit to teach for three years with ongoing mentoring and support.

Each fellow receives a $30,000 stipend while completing the teacher education program at one of seven participating Ohio universities. School districts, including Akron Public Schools, work in partnership with the participating universities to provide the year of practice, as well as continued mentoring.

Local individuals awarded fellowships include:

  • John Beck, of Akron, will attend The University of Akron (UA). A 2006 graduate of Colorado State University in mechanical engineering, he is a high school math teacher, an instructor with Upward Bound, an academic coach, tutor, musician and volunteer.
  • Jessica Fairchild, of Cuyahoga Falls, will attend John Carroll University. A 2012 graduate of UA in philosophy/business administration, she is a student in post-baccalaureate math coursework, a former bank customer service associate, co-founder of a co-ed college cheerleading squad, former dean’s list student, recipient of academic scholarships and a professional baker.
  • Jennifer McCoy, of Akron, will attend UA. A 2008 graduate of UA in biology/psychology, she is a volunteer math and science tutor, sales manager of a medical supply company, a girls’ softball coach, a former student-athlete in softball and volunteer, a marathoner and fluent in American Sign Language.
  • Gregory Pero, of Norton, will attend UA. A 1986 graduate of UA in chemical engineering, he earned a master of science degree in chemical engineering in 1992 from UA. He is an engineer and continuous systems leader with nearly 30 years of experience at a major multinational automotive/industrial manufacturer, a corporate adult educator and a volunteer coach, most recently coaching basketball for young people with physical or mental disabilities.
  • Laura Ruttig, of Cuyahoga Falls, will attend UA. A 2001 graduate of the University of Pittsburgh with a dual degree in English literature and chemical engineering, she is a campus tutor, networking consultant, sales consultant and account executive for two national publishing companies, trainer in computer systems and applications and a graduate student in children’s literature.
  • Christopher Thomas, of Copley, will attend Ohio University. A 2010 graduate of UA in mechanical engineering, he is a process engineer and project manager for multiple aerospace and automotive manufacturers, volunteer engineering teacher and a master of business administration student.
  • Samantha Wade, of Akron, will attend UA. A 1999 graduate of Central State University in manufacturing engineering, she is a substitute teacher in a high-need school, math tutor, site coordinator for a community learning center, and a former manufacturing engineer and pharmaceutical sales manager.

The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, based in Princeton, New Jersey, created the fellowship and administers the program in five states — Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, New Jersey and Georgia. More information about the program is available at www.woodrow.org/ohio.

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