Teaching Ambassador Fellowship
2008 Alumni Classroom Fellow
Bio/Overview: Vickers is currently teaching fourth grade in Independence, MO, after 12 years of teaching middle school math. She vividly remembers the day she stepped into the third grade classroom at Sycamore Hills Elementary School. Her eyes were drawn to the colorful bulletin boards that proudly displayed student work, her attentive ears heard the giggles of students, and her hands were soon snatched by those of a little girl. That was the moment Vickers knew she would be a teacher. After graduating from University of Missouri, Vickers was accepted into the Teaching Fellowship Program, a nationally known program for first-year teachers that includes graduate course work and mentoring by a veteran teacher. This program allowed her to earn her Master’s degree in one year while teaching fifth grade. It was truly a rewarding experience. After her first year of teaching, Vickers moved back to her hometown of Independence, Missouri. She had the opportunity to teach at a brand new building, Pioneer Ridge Middle School. Pioneer Ridge serves a diverse population with a 60% free and reduced lunch rate. Her journey that year brought with it the realization that the math curriculum and textbooks were outdated and our students were significantly behind. Coming from an innovative district that was always well-aligned to Mizzou’s latest research findings, Vickers made it her goal to find something better, and helped the school improve in a variety of ways.
Achievements: Vickers was honored to be the 2007-2008 Independence Teacher of the Year.
Leadership Experience: At Pioneer Ridge, Vickers piloted a variety of math textbooks and led a textbook committee to adopt a new middle school math curriculum. Once administrators adopted The Connected Mathematics Project as official curriculum for the four middle schools, Vickers, along with the Math Design Team, spent the next few years refining and aligning the curriculum with the Grade-Level Expectations in Missouri. They were proud to be one of the first districts to completely align our curriculum with the state. Vickers has focused much of her attention on the improvement of mathematics education in her building, district, and the Kansas City metropolitan area. She has served on the Math Design Team for her school district and served as Math Department Chair. One initiative that Vickers is particularly proud of is her program entitled “Parent’s Night Out.” This evening activity gave her students’ parents a chance to experience a hands-on math lesson along with a free meal. The Teacher Ambassador Fellowship was also a great opportunity for Vickers, as it allowed her to collaborate with fantastic educators and people throughout her community and country that truly care about students and their education!
Affiliations: Teacher Fellowship Program
Education: Vickers graduated from University of Missouri with a degree in Elementary Education before participating in the Teacher Fellowship Program, where she earned her Master’s degree in one year while teaching fifth grade.
Areas of Interest/Expertise:
- Mathematics education
- Curriculum development