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Matt Sakow

Matt Sakow

2016 Fellow
Columbia River High School
Vancouver, Washington

Teaching Discipline


Why Mathematics

“I understand mathematics as the study of reason, quantity, and space. It is how we make sense of the world around us. We use mathematics every day as we construct arguments and critique the arguments of others. We think mathematically when we determine the relationships between objects or ideas and when we attribute a cause to an effect. Thus, mathematics is important for high school students as they prepare to reason through the problems they will face and messages they hear after graduation.”

Professional Experience

Matt taught standard-level geometry for four months as a long-term substitute teacher. He then spent two years in Burkina Faso with the Peace Corps teaching eighth grade mathematics in French. Here, Matt also directed gender equity and leadership camps for students and organized or assisted with various health campaigns. While completing his graduate studies as a Paul D. Coverdell Peace Corps Fellow, he interned with C.A.R.E., an organization that provides job mentoring and job placement for traditionally marginalized students. At C.A.R.E., he analyzed evaluation data. His role expanded when he was hired as a job coach for students with developmental disabilities.

Volunteer Experience

After Hurricane Irene, Matt spent three months volunteering as the office and donations manager for the Huntersfield Recovery Center in Prattsville, New York. In Columbia, Missouri, Matt volunteered for various community events and festivals and served with C.A.R.E. on the Columbia Transition Team, a partnership of area agencies serving people with disabilities. For one year, Matt served on the board of directors of the Central Missouri Returned Peace Corps Volunteer group, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting returned Peace Corps volunteers and promoting a better understanding of other peoples and cultures on behalf of Americans. He also acted as the Advocacy Coordinator for Central Missouri with the National Peace Corps Association.


Matt enjoys hiking, reading, and cooking.

Academic Background

  • University of Missouri (Master of Education in Learning, Teaching, and Curriculum: Mathematics Education)
  • Messiah College (Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics with Teaching Certification)


Teachers are advocates for students and change makers in society. A teacher provides or reveals opportunities for students both within and outside the classroom. A teacher has the unique role of preparing students to become lifelong learners, equipped to persevere through finding solutions to societal problems.

Matt Sakow
2016 Fellow