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Andrea Charbonnel

2011 Fellow
Palmyra Area High School
Palmyra, Pennsylvania

Andrea Charbonnel’s interest in teaching began as an undergraduate at Allegheny College. After volunteering to read with a first grader at an after-school program in a nearby housing development, she noticed a change not only in the child but in herself.  “With each passing week I saw him become more confident, more eager to learn. The rewarding feeling of witnessing his progress made me consider a career in education.”

The spark that lit within her while teaching the child led her to accept a position as a teaching assistant for a college professor who led a biology course for gifted high school students.  She was also a laboratory teaching assistant for introductory physics and chemistry courses for college students. Andrea, whose high school alma mater is Bergen County Academies, enjoyed watching the teens work together in groups to solve complicated physics problems that she had been given as a sophomore in college.  “I decided to combine my excitement for education and my love for physics and become a high school physics teacher.”

The New Jersey native graduated magna cum laude from Allegheny College.  Andrea says her experiences have shown her that “being a great teacher requires more than just passing along the subject information necessary to pass standardized tests” and that teachers work to “cultivate the intellectual growth of the next generation.”  Andrea believes that in teaching she has found a career that would have a positive, lifelong impact on others.

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I want to give my students the tools they need to become problem solvers, self-learners and self-thinkers.

Andrea Charbonnel
2011 Fellow