School Notes: Premier teacher, college camp, Lowe’s grants - East Valley Tribune: East Valley Education News

School Notes: Premier teacher, college camp, Lowe’s grants

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Michelle Reese covers education for the Tribune and blogs about motherhood and family issues at Contact her at

Michelle Reese covered education for the Tribune, also blogging about motherhood and family issues at

Posted: Wednesday, June 20, 2012 7:00 am | Updated: 3:34 pm, Tue Aug 20, 2013.

Mary Chin, a teacher at Mesa Preparatory Academy who is finishing her teaching credentials at Arizona State University, has been awarded the Knowles Science Teaching Fellowship, valued at $175,000. The fellowship is given to “premier high school math and science teachers” as they start their careers.

Chin, who holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and a master’s in environmental engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), went to Wall Street after college, but left to join the teacher ranks.

“It took about three minutes of standing in front of an eighth-grade algebra class to confirm that I’d made the right decision,” she said.

Well, it took about 30 seconds for us to be impressed. Thanks for doing what you do, Mary.

College camp hopes to spark future education

Nothing wrong with getting kids excited about college when they’re young. That’s just what staff and volunteer speakers believe each year as Chandler-Gilbert Community College hosts “Destination College.”

The three-week program exposes elementary students and their families to the college experience. This year, 150 sixth-graders from Chandler’s Bologna, Erie, Frye, Galveston, Hartford, Knox and San Marcos elementary schools focused on a variety of career fields, as well as studied science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

Their “graduation” will be Thursday.

“Hearing about college is one thing, but experiencing it is something completely different; that is the purpose of Destination College,” said Maria Reyes, the college’s dean of career and technology. “The parent component helps educate parents about what it means to go to college, and provides them with the tools needed to help guide their children on the path to becoming college students in the future.”

East Valley schools earn Lowe’s grants

With a push to build better schools, Lowe’s awarded more than $2.3 million nationwide in grants through its “Toolbox for Education” program.

Two East Valley schools were among the more than 540 in the country to receive funding. Chandler High School and Mesa’s Jefferson Elementary School will each receive money from Lowe’s for “parent-initiated school improvement projects.”

Way to go parents and schools!

• School Notes are compiled by education reporter Michelle Reese. Read more school news at, and follow us on Facebook ( and on Twitter (@EVEdnews).

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