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Bethlehem alumnus begins national fellowship

Angelo Collins, KSTF's executive director, said the fellowship is an investment into the future.

"We see teachers as change agents. By investing in early-career teachers, KSTF is nurturing dedicated, lifelong educators," Collins said. "The quality of high school mathematics and science education is essential to ensuring American competitiveness through innovation."

KSTF also offers fellowships in physical science and biology.

Of the 20 fastest-growing occupations projected this decade, 15 of them require substantial science or math preparation, according to Nicole Gillespie from the senior program office of KSTF.

"Unfortunately, about half of all secondary teachers leave the industry within five years," she said. "Our challenge is going to be able to ensure we continue to have outstanding, well-qualified teachers to make this happen."

The whole concept of the program is designed to meet the financial and professional needs of new science and mathematics teachers, and hopefully, in the end, help to ensure that the country's best teachers stay where they are and go on to become leaders of the industry.

Full-time student fellows receive up to $10,000 in annual tuition assistance and also get a monthly stipend while they were working toward teaching credentials. Those who are already full-time teachers are eligible for small materials grants and support for a mentor-teacher relationship.

In addition, all of the fellows receive funding for summer professional development and summer living stipends as well as membership in a professional organization and travel to professional meetings.

"The fellowship supports us even after we go out and find our first jobs," Levine said. "Which is a really great benefit."

More information about the Knowles Science Teaching Foundation or about the 2010 application, go to: www.kstf.org.

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