2010 Recipient of the William C. Lowry Scholarship
I want to help students see math the way that I see it—as a great tool for everyday problem-solving that all works together beautifully,” says Timothy A. Jenson, 2010 recipient of the William C. Lowry Scholarship.
“I want to be the kind of teacher that helps students become eager to learn.” He didn’t always know that someday he would be sharing his passion for advanced mathematics with high school students. Eventually, however, the numbers added up for Timothy.
After earning a bachelor of science in computer engineering at U.Va., Timothy had a job waiting as a programmer for a local firm. When the economy went south and his position was cut, Timothy decided to try a different career path. “My mother is a math teacher, so it was always a career I had interest in,” Timothy says. “I also really liked math and education, so it seemed like a great fit.” Once he got into Curry, he says, “I knew this was the direction I wanted to take.”
Now in his second year of Curry’s post-graduate master’s degree program in secondary mathematics, Timothy is student teaching at Charlottesville High School.
“Curry provides great opportunities to get field experience in education,” he says. “You don’t really know how to teach until you actually teach something to students. It’s a great education in how to be the best teacher you can.”
Timothy appreciates the Lowry Scholarship because it reduces the amount of debt he will have to pay back once he begins teaching full time. A smaller student loan payment is a huge benefit to any graduate trying to get by on a new teacher’s salary. He plans to teach upper mathematics subjects, like pre-calculus and calculus, as well as computer science. “I think the upper math subjects can be tricky and seem irrelevant to students, but I hope to change their opinion,” Timothy says.
“I also like teaching introductory computer programming. Seeing their reaction when students input a program and it does what they planned is a wonderful thing.”
The Lowry Scholarship was established by friends of William C. Lowry upon his retirement in 1987. Lowry was professor of mathematics education at Curry for 32 years. The scholarship supports a student enrolled in the five-year teacher education program preparing to teach mathematics.
Story and photo by Lynn Bell