University of Vermont

2006 CESS graduate, Jim Town, is chosen to receive an Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellowship

On March 26, 2013, Jim Town MEd ’06 was chosen by the Triangle Coalition for Science and Technology to receive an Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellowship.  According to their website, “the Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellowship Program is a paid fellowship for K-12 science, technology, engineering, and mathematics educators with demonstrated excellence in teaching.”  The goal of the fellowship is to enable better communication and support between the government and STEM educators.  As part of the paid fellowship, Town will serve in Washington D.C. for 11 months starting in September. 

A teacher at West Sacramento College Prep Charter School in West Sacramento, California, Town credits much of success to the College of Education and Social Services’ Curriculum and Instruction program.   “UVM’s focus on constructivist teaching philosophies was what drew me to it and what helped me to become the teacher I am today,” said Town.  “That beautiful question ‘how we can help students create their own understanding’ guides my practice daily.  I am always searching for ways to engage students and learn by doing instead of memorizing formulas and practicing the same problems over and over again.”

The background that Town gained through his coursework at CESS was pivotal in his interest in the fellowship.  “All of the readings and research we did in our classes gave me a great leg to stand on when other teachers or administrators questioned what I was doing.  I could defend my choices with articles and studies and not just convince them it was okay I was doing it, but excite them about it to the point where they wanted me to share what I was doing with other math teachers,” said Town.

Town will spread his knowledge to an even larger audience, as he will work at the National Science Foundation’s Directorate for Education and Human Resources at the Division of Research on Learning.  In doing so, he will continue to live CESS’s motto of “Making a Difference” on the national stage.          

"Founded in 1990, the Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellowship Program is a paid fellowship for K-12 science, technology, engineering, and mathematics educators with demonstrated excellence in teaching. Fellowships aim to increase understanding, communication, and cooperation between the legislative and executive branches of the government and the STEM education community. The Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellowship Act, authorized by Congress in 1994, gave DOE federal responsibility for the program. The Triangle Coalition for Science and Technology Education administers the Program for the DOE Office of Science in partnership with the other participating federal agencies."