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Mary Chin

2012 Fellow
Arete Preparatory Academy
Gilbert, Arizona

Mary Chin earned her way onto the Wall Street trading floor after completing several demanding internships.  She enjoyed the fast-paced atmosphere and the daily challenges of her job, yet did not feel that she was contributing to society in the ways that she had imagined.  Eventually, Mary chose to leave her high-paying career for a new path.  “It took about three minutes of standing in front of an 8th grade algebra class to confirm that I’d made the right decision.”

In the process, Mary had the opportunity to reconnect with a few inspiring middle school and high school teachers.  Her 8th grade social studies teacher advised her to “over prepare and over reflect.”  That advice has stayed with her:  “Through my reflections this year, I have become more patient and allowed for more silences in the classroom.”

Mary earned a BS in civil engineering and an MEng in environmental engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).  She spent a summer in Venice, assisting on a multi-billion dollar project to protect the city from the threat of high water.  For her MEng thesis, Mary traveled to a refugee camp in northwest Thailand to study and improve the local water distribution system.  Mary’s experience was not all academic:  She played soccer and ice hockey at MIT and was a two-year captain for both teams.

Mary is excited to finally be teaching and be part of the KSTF Fellowship.  She is teaching at Mesa Preparatory Academy, a charter school in the Phoenix suburbs, while she earns her teaching credential.  After spending most of her life in New England, Mary looks forward to new adventures in the Southwest.


By carefully studying the art of teaching, I hope to show students how to take ownership of their learning and enjoy the process of problem solving.

Mary Chin
2012 Fellow