Hillside High School
Durham, North Carolina
Latoya Clay discovered her love of teaching during her teenage years when she tutored at her neighborhood Boys and Girls Club. She loved the students’ reactions when they answered a problem correctly or figured it out on their own. “The feeling that I was having a positive impact on the lives of people in my community is what had the deepest impact.” Tutoring helped Latoya realize that as a teacher she would need to be “a motivator, an empathizer, a support system and anything else that would help steer my students down the right path.”
Latoya credits her AP calculus teacher with rekindling her passion for mathematics and her many unique life experiences and internships for molding her into the educator she is today. Latoya has helped develop a mathematical terrorist risk model for the Department of Homeland Defense; investigated the effects of ethanol on the brain via fMRI images through the National Institutes of Health’s Career Opportunities in Research program; and explored seizure predictability at Rutgers University. She is “able to draw on all of these experiences as real world applications in the math classes that I teach.”
A Robert Noyce Teacher scholar, Latoya holds a BS in mathematics and an MA in statistics from Clark Atlanta University. She is committed to making her lessons interactive and preparing her students for life after school. She hopes to teach at an urban high needs school where she can have the most impact on students’ lives.