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Kellie Stilson

Kellie Stilson

2016 Fellow
South Elgin High School
South Elgin, Illinois

Teaching Discipline


Why Mathematics

“Math is everywhere in the world around us—in patterns, critical thinking, argument and justification, reasoning, and number sense. I think that in teaching mathematics, I am preparing students to use mathematics to analyze and think critically about the world around them.”

Professional Experience

Kellie has taught informally for several years as a private tutor, and a swim and flute instructor. While at Michigan State, she worked as a teaching assistant/math tutor for two years. Additionally, she taught two courses—Logic and Problem Solving and Spatial Sense—as a math instructor at a summer camp. Through the Illinois State University Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU), she researched graph theory with seven other pre-service teachers and four in-service teachers. While there, the group led a summer camp for students from the Chicago Public Schools, coaching them in completing a mini-research experience. She will return to REU as an in-service teacher during summer 2016.

Volunteer Experience

For four years, Kellie was an active participant in the Michigan State University math outreach program. In this role, she helped to organize math festivals and math clubs for local schools, providing the opportunity for students and parents to engage with mathematics outside of the classroom.


Kellie enjoys playing the flute and the piccolo, dancing, reading and watching television. She also enjoys performing in community productions as a volunteer musician and actress.

Academic Background

  • Michigan State University (Bachelor of Science in Mathematics)


I think that it is a teacher's responsibility to encourage students to ask meaningful questions and model those questioning strategies—questions directed to each other and teachers about the content, learning, and the world. I think that once students learn to ask meaningful questions, they become agents of change in their community. Additionally, they learn that they can take ownership for their own learning.

Kellie Stilson
2016 Fellow