South Lakes High School
Amol Patel grew up in southern Virginia and attended a small private K – 12 school, where a pair of dynamic high school biology teachers sparked his interest in science. Amol enrolled at the College of William and Mary intent on becoming a deep-sea marine biologist, but soon realized that the world of research was not for him. Instead, he would spark other students’ interest in science as a teacher.
Amol graduated from William and Mary with a double-major in biology and psychology and went on to graduate school at the University of Virginia. His first year in the teacher education program was spent teaching pre-literacy and social skills to at-risk pre-school students through Americorps’ Jumpstart program. The next year he served as the primary biology instructor to 137 students, filling in as a long-term substitute teacher. Amol chose to teach evolutionary theory, providing his students with a thematic lens through which to understand biology. “I want to teach my students about the nature of science: that it is tentative, subjective, not solely based on facts and always improving our understanding of the natural world.”
Amol completed his masters of teaching in secondary science education in 2008 and began teaching high school biology that same year. Fluent in Gujarati, he enjoys soccer, bird watching, and playing jazz, blues and rock on the drums and electric bass.