Bio/Overview: Tami Fitzgerald is a 2013 Classroom Teaching Ambassador Fellow now serving full-time as a 2014 Washington Fellow in the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education. As an Educational Consultant for the Muskingum Valley Educational Service Center and National Board Certified Teacher who has taught science at West Muskingum High School in Zanesville, Ohio for the past 32 years, Fitzgerald brings considerable expertise in STEM education and rural settings to the Department. 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. Whether teaching AP Physics, an intervention science class or working with another teacher, Fitzgerald focuses on reaching all students and elevating them to the most rigorous standards they can achieve. In her passion for the teaching profession, she has been an adjunct professor at Muskingum University where she has taught a variety of education courses.
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 has represented teachers and provided input to policies surrounding professional development and STEM education to the Department. She has also helped develop a STEM Mentoring Café program with ED and the Department of Energy. Previous to this, Fitzgerald represented science teachers at the White House STEM Master Teacher Corps Round Table, 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 including 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: As a teacher leader from the classroom, Fitzgerald has led the Professional Development Team in her school and was Program Director for the Resident Educator Program and a core member of the Formative Instructional Practices Network. 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.
Affiliations: National Board of Certified Teachers, National Society of High School Scholars, National Science Teachers Association, National Education Association, Ohio Education Association, ASCD.
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:
More Teacher Fellows Biographies
- Improving the Teaching Profession
- STEM Education
- Teacher Leadership
- Strengthening our Public School System and its Image