Teaching Ambassador Fellowship
Bio/Overview: Bredenkamp currently teaches Mathematics for Westside Career Center, an alternative high school, part of Westside Community Schools in Omaha, NE. Upon graduating from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Bredenkamp joined Teach for America and began his teaching career in the alternative program at Paul Robeson High School in Chicago, IL. While in Chicago he worked with John Hopkins University, implementing mathematical curriculum that focused on collaboration and problem solving. He also received a Master’s degree in teaching from Dominican University and taught statistics at Columbia College to graduate students in the Arts, Entertainment & Media Management program. After three years Bredenkamp returned to Nebraska, eager to use the skills he had learned in Chicago in order to serve the community he grew up in. Bredenkamp has worked to improve the mathematical rigor at his school and also introduced new curriculum that improves students’ problem solving skills. He recently received a second Master’s degree in Educational Administration from the University of Nebraska-Omaha and will begin his doctoral program in the fall of 2012, focusing on School Finance.
Educational Values/Philosophy: Bredenkamp entered education with a desire to share his love of Mathematics. He believes that all children can achieve success in Mathematics if instruction is individualized and innovative. Working in alternative settings has taught him to adapt his curriculum in order to meet his students’ needs, as opposed to having student change to meet the demands of the curriculum. He believes that updating curriculum and utilizing technology and collaboration within the classroom will develop students’ problem solving skills. Bredenkamp believes that these skills are the most essential to students’ future successes in our ever-changing world.
Achievements: Bredenkamp currently works as a Marzano Instructional Rounds Leader at Westside High School, where he leads a team of teachers in non-evaluative observations of master teachers. In 2011, he was selected to be a part of the emerging leaders program within his district and has served on numerous committees as a part of this program.
Leadership Experience: Bredenkamp serves as the technology director for Westside Career Center, where he also works as a curriculum developer and team leader. He also tracks and presents student data to the staff of the Career Center as a part of their PLC meetings. Bredenkamp is also a member of several committees in his district, including those on merit pay, high school accreditation, and strategic planning of graduation rates. He also mentors teachers new to the alternative setting in order to share best practices. Bredenkamp also serves as the building representative in his local teachers union.
Affiliations: Teach for America, Nebraska Association of Teachers of Mathematics, Nebraska Association of School Business Officials
Education: Bredenkamp received two bachelor degrees (in finance and mathematics) at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and went on to earn a Master’s in teaching from Dominican University. Bredenkamp recently earned a second Master’s, in educational administration and supervision, from the University of Nebraska-Omaha. He will begin his doctoral work at the University of Nebraska-Omaha in the fall of 2012, with an emphasis on School Finance.
Areas of Interest/Expertise:
- Alternative high schools
- Mathematics Instruction
- Problem/Project Based Curriculum
- Collaboration (both Student and Staff based)
- School Finance