Teaching Ambassador Fellowship
Bio/OveBio/Overview: Tami Fitzgerald is a National Board Certified Teacher who has taught science at West Muskingum High School in Zanesville, Ohio for the past 30 years. Whether teaching AP Physics or Intervention Science, Fitzgerald focuses on reaching all students in her classroom and elevating them to the most rigorous standards they can achieve. In her region, Fitzgerald has taken a leadership role in helping advance science through curriculum development and designing science excursions for area students. In her passion for the teaching profession, Fitzgerald is also an adjunct professor at Muskingum University where she teaches a variety of education courses that focus on classroom practices, technology and science education. She also designs and facilitates regular professional development and is the coordinator for her district’s Resident Educator program.
Educational Values/Philosophy: Fitzgerald entered teaching knowing that teachers can make a difference. Effective teachers have a deep understanding of their subject matter, a firm grasp of how to get that information to students, and a genuine interest in the success of the students. Powerful teaching involves engaging students in learning that makes them ask questions, think, and come up with their own answers. Students need to learn to learn through self-discovery. Powerful teachers inspire students through their own passion and by providing authentic learning environments that extend beyond the classroom while providing positive reinforcements to foster personal growth. Students need to be taught to produce rather than consume and to reason rather than to recall.
Program Participation and Achievements: Over the past year, Fitzgerald represented science teachers at the White House STEM Master Teacher Corps Round Table with US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. She participated in the NBC Education Nation Summit and served as a Science Consultant for the National Board of Certified Teachers. During her years of teaching, Fitzgerald has received numerous teacher awards. National awards include the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching and the Claes Nobel Educator of Distinction Top Ten Educator of the Year. Locally, she has been awarded the American Red Cross Hometown Education Hero award and several Outstanding Educator and Teacher of the Year awards.
Leadership Experience: A teacher leader, Fitzgerald leads the Professional Development Team, the Resident Educator Leadership Experience: Regionally, Fitzgerald has served as a core leader for science curriculum development for the Muskingum Valley Educational Service Center and taught physical science institutes for the State of Ohio. At Muskingum University, Fitzgerald has taught courses on professional practices, technology, and science education to both pre-service and experienced teachers As a teacher leader in her building and district, Fitzgerald leads the professional development team, is the coordinator of the Resident Educator program, and is a core member of the Formative Instructional Practices network.
Affiliations: National Board of Certified Teachers, National Society of High School Scholars, National Science Teachers Association, National Education Association, Ohio Education Association, ASCD.
Education: Fitzgerald has a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and a Masters of Arts in Education, both from Muskingum University. In the State of Ohio she is identified as a Master Teacher and has a Lead Teacher license in chemistry and integrated science. Fitzgerald is a National Board Certified Teacher in AYA science.
Areas of Interest/Expertise:
- Maintaining and elevating the teaching profession as one that attracts and keeps quality teachers
- STEM education
- Teacher preparation and induction programs
- Teacher effectiveness