I am thrilled to announce that APS’ very own Tiarra L. Moore, Science Instructional Coach at Crawford Long Middle School, has been selected as a semi-finalist with the Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellowship (AEF) Program!
This is such a big deal! From what I’ve been told, Atlanta has never had an Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellowship awardee. Fellows get the chance to spend 11 months working in a Congressional office or Federal agency on projects related to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).
Ms. Moore says that she learned about the program from Dr. Rubye Sullivan, the district’s Director of Research & Evaluation for School Improvement. Rubye heard about the great things Ms. Moore was doing in the science department at Long Middle School and the District and thought she would be a great candidate for the fellowship.
A graduate of Clark Atlanta University, Ms. Moore was a chemistry major and spent two years after graduating working in Cornell University’s Nanobiotechnology Department creating biosensors that remotely detect pesticides in bodies of water. She joined APS in 2002, entering the classroom through the Teach for America program and working as a Life Science and Gifted teacher for 10 years. In 2010, Ms. Moore won the Atlanta Families’ Award for Excellence in Education and used the funds to establish a thriving school-community organic garden at Long Middle School. She continues to write grants each year to enhance the school’s science program and garden, and works closely with our partners at the Captain Planet Foundation. Ms. Moore’s journey from her science classroom to AEF semi-finalist is a great example of external partnerships working to bring critical resources, recognition, and rewards to our teachers. Thank you Atlanta Families’ Awards and Captain Planet for being there for Tiarra for the last five years!
“My passion is to provide STEM programming in schools that are under-resourced in high poverty areas,” Ms. Moore says. “Oftentimes, our students in urban communities are not exposed to science, technology, and engineering at the level they should be. I’m always thinking about our kids in terms of long-range planning. Ensuring that students pass a standardized test or graduate from high school is not enough for me. I want to prepare students for life and want them to enter into a science or engineering career. If I am accepted as an AEF fellow, I will work with a federal agency to develop national STEM programs and push for legislation around science initiatives. I will then bring my knowledge and expertise back to Atlanta to enhance Atlanta Public Schools as it relates to STEM programming.”
I have my fingers and toes crossed for Ms. Moore as she heads into her final interview later this month in Washington D.C. No matter the result, I know our students are already winning by having such a dedicated science instructor in their school.