On Thursday, August 4th the first cohort of students in the new UW-Madison Masters Program for Teaching celebrated earning their graduate degrees and teaching certifications.
The day began with the finals conference at which students shared their masters projects with their peers, program faculty, and visitors. Each of the content-area cohorts (science, math, English, and social studies) displayed and/or discussed the findings from their masters papers in group poster sessions. These sharing sessions were scheduled around faculty, staff, and visitor presentations on topics such as democratic educational reforms, culturally sustaining pedagogy for immigrant youth, best practices in establishing community partnerships, and other topics of interest to new teachers. Our own Dean, Diana Hess, led one of the more well attended sessions on teacher disclosure of their views on controversial political topics.
The conference was followed by a dinner and graduation ceremony in the Alumni Lounge at the Pyle Center on Lake Mendota. The program was emceed by Joey Lubasi, and Dean Hess delivered a heartfelt keynote welcoming graduates to the teaching profession. Good luck to all of our new teachers!
Tim Berto, a graduate from the program's first class of students, was recently chosen by the Knowles Science Teaching Foundation as a member of its 2016 cohort of Teaching Fellows. This year, 34 early-career, high school mathematics and science teachers were awarded KSTF Teaching Fellowships.
Tim earned a Bachelor of Science in chemistry from St. Norbert College in 2007 and a Ph.D. in inorganic chemistry from the University of Michigan in 2012 prior to enrolling in the UWTeach program. This fall, he will begin his first year of teaching at Middleton High School in Middleton, Wis.
The Foundation provides support and professional development designed specifically for early-career, high school mathematics and science teachers through its signature program—the KSTF Teaching Fellows Program. With a focus on supporting teacher-led educational improvement in the classroom and beyond, KSTF 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.
Tim is the fourth graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison secondary education program to earn this prestigious award. Past awardees (who graduated from the previous program) include Helen Yan (2015), Sarah Gray (2015), and Christopher Anderson (2013).