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BIOS

William Harnica

2017 Fellow
Okemos High School
Okemos, Michigan

Teaching Discipline

Mathematics

Why Mathematics

“I love the question students always ask, ‘When will I ever use this?’ I always give them the honest answer and say realistically, many of you will not need to know how to convert from standard form to vertex form for a quadratic function, but the process and steps you learn in order to do that are going to be important for the rest of your life. To find a relationship between the A, B, C values in standard form and the A, h, k values in vertex form uses critical thinking to propose a relationship, problem solving to figure out if your proposed values make sense, and collaboration with peers to talk about the transition; all of these skills are valuable outside of the math classroom.”

Professional Experience

William taught mathematics as part of a summer school program at Britton Deerfield High School in Britton, Michigan. He began his first year of teaching, Geometry and Studies in Algebra, at Okemos High School in the fall of 2017.

Volunteer Experience

William volunteered for four consecutive summers as a camp chaperone for his hometown’s eighth grade camping trip to Camp Frontier in Pioneer, Ohio. He also served as an assistant coach for Holt High School’s varsity basketball team in Holt, Michigan, for the 2016–2017 school year.

Hobbies

As a huge fan of the show Jeopardy!, William would love to be a contestant in the future, particularly during Teacher Week. He is also a huge sports and fitness enthusiast and hopes to bring his passion to Okemos High School and coach athletics.

Academic Background

  • Michigan State University (Bachelor of Science in Mathematics)

 

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“Math is rewarding. Math is tough. Math is a game of chess. It is a puzzle with missing pieces. Sometimes it’s not even about how much you know, but how much you can persevere. How much you can learn from your past mistakes to make corrections and have the confidence to attempt the problem again. Math literally teaches life lessons every day if the students give it a chance; and it’s my job to help them see that.”

William Harnica
2017 Fellow