Recent Berry College graduate Amanda Dean recently received the Knowles Teaching Fellowship award.  The Knowles Science Teaching Foundation provides support and professional development designed specifically for early-career, high school mathematics and science teachers. With a focus on supporting teacher-led educational improvement in the classroom and beyond, Teaching Fellows gain access to a comprehensive suite of benefits for five years, including summer stipends, funds for professional development, grants for teaching materials, mentoring and support from experienced teachers and teacher educators, support for teacher leadership activities, and membership in a community of more than 300 like-minded peers in 40 states.


The award is given to individuals who are interested in teaching science, technology, engineering and mathematics and who demonstrate a commitment to improving high school curriculums in these fields. Out of the 34 people who received a fellowship this year, 30 were pursuing or had acquired advanced degrees from Ivy League schools such as Harvard and Stanford. Dean was the only exception, as she graduated with two bachelor’s degrees in mathematics and secondary education in May.


“I was extremely surprised and honored to be selected for this fellowship,” Dean said. “I am still in shock a little bit. All of the finalists were so talented and accomplished that I never imagined I would be able to stand out.”


Dean earned the fellowship through dedication, teaching in her field, giving national and local presentations and publishing an article and a book. Berry College Assistant Professor of Mathematics Jill Cochran said Dean’s experience with developing math concepts by using 3D printing was a plus.


“She is definitely a student worth bragging about,” Cochran said.


Dean is the first Berry student to receive the fellowship.


“I am so incredibly thankful to be a part of this adept, diverse group of educators,” Dean said. “With this powerful community behind me, I couldn’t be more excited to begin my teaching career.”


She will begin her career at Ridgeland High School in Rossville, Ga., teaching geometry.


“As a teacher, I want to challenge students as they have never been challenged before, while supporting them to take on and overcome those challenges,” Dean said. “In this way, I will prepare my students for the world ahead of them, cultivating intelligent citizens who will transform society for the better.”