These Two Alums Won Knowles Fellowships

These Two Alums Won Knowles Fellowships

knowles.jpgAlumni Claire Sampson and Rose Taylor received five year fellowships from the Knowles Teacher Initiative.Northwestern University alumni Claire Sampson (MS23) and Rose Taylor (MS22) are the latest School of Education and Social Policy recipients of a five-year fellowship from the Knowles Teacher Initiative.

It’s the eighth year in a row that a SESP student or alumnus has joined the prestigious group of teaching fellows; SESP now has twelve winners overall. The Knowles network supports early-career, high school math and science teachers who show potential as leaders in the classroom and beyond.

Sampson is teaching ninth grade biology at Chicago Public Schools' Kenwood Academy, while Taylor is a math teacher at Northside College Prep. Both earned their master’s of science in education from the School of Education and Social Policy,

As fellows, they have access to a suite of benefits valued at more than $150,000, including stipends; grants for professional development, classroom materials and National Board Certification; coaching and mentoring from experienced teachers and teacher educators; support for teacher leadership initiatives; and membership in a national community of nearly 450 math and science educators.

The fellowship has made the transition from graduate school to the first year of teaching seem less daunting, Sampson said. “This is a great opportunity to have a community of support, especially after grad school, when you no longer have that same built-in community you once did."

Sampson and Taylor recently met when they participated in the fellowship’s first summer conference where winners from the previous five years were invited to join and share their experiences. One discussion with teachers from multiple states shed light on how teacher's unions can be used to make the job more sustainable, Taylor said. "One Knowles Fellow from Berkeley told our group how the union fought for and won extra compensation for writing college letters of recommendation," she said. "In most districts, this is an unpaid expectation."

The conference  also emphasized the breadth of peer support winners receive. The fellowship has aided Sampson in setting up her own classroom, and has also directed her teaching practice, especially knowing about financial resources she can rely on.

“It was inspiring to see the level of support given to early career teachers, and also valuable to understand how the fellowship supports teachers throughout the five years,” Sampson said. “I know that if I have question, there are others to help out."

Here's where are Knowles Fellows are working:

  • Claire Sampson is a biology teacher at Kenwood Academy
  • Rose Taylor is a match teacher at Northside College Prep
  • Rosalie Shyu is a secondary math teacher for Chicago Public Schools
  • Emily Salzman teaches math at Chicago’s Lane Tech College Prep High School
  • Amber Luczak teaches chemistry and physics at Marshall Metro High School in Chicago.
  • Bradley Smith teaches AP calculus BC, algebra 1, and algebra 2 at Grosse Pointe North High School in Michigan and is working on revamping the curriculum.
  • Rohan Prakash is teaching at Homestead High School in Cupertino, Calif. He teaches AP statistics and algebra 1 and is working on a pilot culturally responsive education program within his district. He is also piloting a project-based learning algebra summer course.
  • Mason Rocca is interim head of school at Baker Demonstration School in Evanston.
  • Dan Voss is a curriculum development specialist for professor Brian Reiser's group in the School of Education and Social Policy, where he leads units and writes for the OpenSciEd High School Chemistry curriculum. He also teaches pre-service teachers at the University of Minnesota.
  • John Holcomb is a math teacher at Sequoia High School, Redwood City, California.
  • Elizabeth Smith is in her eighth year of teaching; she recently started at Walter Payton College Prep in Chicago.
  • Elizabeth van Es (PhD04) is professor of education at the University of California, Irvine.
By Laura Salus
Last Modified: 8/24/23