Alpharetta High School
When Emily Kennedy was a child, her older sister turned their basement into a summer camp for neighborhood kids with plays and fun science experiments. “I developed an overall love of learning that has stayed with me.” And, with three of her grandparents in education, she “always had a pretty severe case of the teaching bug.” Emily’s appreciation of mathematics began early and was reinforced by her eleventh grade analysis teacher. Emily realized “that math could be used not only for finding solutions to quadratic equations, but for helping win a car on a game show.”
Initially an architecture major at the Georgia Institute of Technology, Emily decided after a year “that sitting at a drafting table wasn’t for me; teaching was.” She received her BS in applied math from the Georgia Institute of Technology and went on to earn a MEd in Mathematics Education from the University of Georgia.
Emily believes that technology makes learning faster and more accurate: in her classroom, she utilizes Geometers Sketchpad, which allows students to see the derivations and breakdown process and, as a result, better understand the subject matter. Emily is also sponsor of Alpharetta High School’s Math Team.
Emily received Teacher of the Month and Teacher of the Quarter awards from the local Rotary Club and was named her school’s Teacher of the Year during only her third year of teaching. She received the award partly for helping integrate the Georgia Performance Standards into the curriculum. Together with Arielle Pool, she has disseminated ideas for differentiation in instruction and assessment at local summer secondary mathematics teacher institutes in her area.