(Mustang, Oklahoma – May 28, 2021) – Mustang Central Middle School programming/robotics teacher, Jennifer Wilhm, will join thirteen other STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) teachers this summer to participate in the American Fidelity (AF) Teacher Fellowship Program. The selected “Fellows” will join the IT team at American Fidelity over the Summer as part of the AF Teacher Fellowship where they will receive a corporate IT salary, a $2,000 stipend for their classroom and skills to take back to their students to help them pursue STEM careers in the future.
Applications closed on March 1, 2021 and were open to 3rd-12th grade STEM teachers. Qualified applicants attended a virtual interview on March 19. Prior IT experience was not a requirement to qualify for the fellowship, but applicants must be currently teaching in science, technology, engineering or math to be eligible. “We anticipate much of the fellowship will be virtual this year due to COVID-19 but hope to be able to have some portion in person at our headquarters in OKC if possible to do so safely,” according to the AF website. Applications for 2022 fellowships will open in early 2022.
Wilhm, who is going into her fourth year of teaching, applied for the fellowship to be in a position to better help her students. “One of the reasons I became a teacher was to share my love of learning. The STEM teacher fellowship sounded like an excellent opportunity to learn new things! I hope to gain first-hand experience of how Coding and Technology positions work in a real business environment. I am especially excited for a chance to work with machine learning,” Wilhm said.
“Our goal is to help provide teachers with knowledge and ideas they can use to spark interest in STEM for their students and teach problem solving and logic, abilities that are vital no matter what career the student pursues,” Diana Bittle, chief information officer at American Fidelity said. “It’s been a joy helping teachers help their students through this program. They leave with a variety of resources to help teach their students problem solving and logic skills, plus inside knowledge on the corporate work environment to better prepare students for the future.”
The 2021 AF Teacher Fellows are:
• Ademola “Dee” Adeyemi, Tulsa School of Arts and Sciences
• Angela Smith, Tulsa Public Schools
• Ariesha Murray, Putnam City School District
• Bryan Pierce, Cache Intermediate School
• David Dupliss, KIPP
• Derrica White, KIPP
• Gretchen Taylor, Red River Technology Center
• Heather Sims, Hobart High School
• Jennifer Wilhm, Mustang Public Schools
• Kaylee Frank, Oklahoma City Public Schools
• Linda Sullivan, Moore Public Schools
• Lu Dubois, Grove Upper Elementary
• Sally Berry, Belle Isle
• Whitney Gonzalez, Shawnee Public Schools
About American Fidelity
American Fidelity Assurance Company is a supplemental benefits provider serving more than 1.5 million policyholders across 49 states with a focus on offering a different opinion for Customers in the education, public sector, auto retail and healthcare industries. More information can be found at americanfidelity.com.
The AF Teacher Fellowship provides teachers an opportunity to spend the summer with a corporate technology team learning about software development, enterprise information management or technical infrastructure projects. They can then take this experience back to their classrooms to help their students learn about and prepare for these careers.
About Mustang Public Schools
The Mustang Public School District covers over 72 square miles in Oklahoma and Canadian counties with the City of Mustang at its center. The district is the largest employer in Canadian County, with more than 1,000 certified and support employees. Voted one of Oklahoma’s Top Workplaces for the past two years, the school district offers a comprehensive compensation package for full-time employees, in addition to a satisfying working environment. There are eight elementary schools (grades PreK-4), three intermediate centers (grades 5-6), three middle schools (grades 7-8), one high school (grades 9-12), and an educational center which houses pre-kindergarten and alternative education.
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