Knowles Teacher Initiative has inspired me to be a better teacher. They have supported my continued contact with a mentor and equipped me with curriculum and activities that have made my teaching measurably more effective.”

Anne’s Story

Anne Watson used to lie awake at night thinking about the universe. “I decided at the ripe age of eleven to major in physics in college.” After high school, Anne left her hometown of Essex, Vt., for Penn State University (PSU), where she majored in physics with a minor in math. At PSU, she co-authored papers with the Astronomy and Astrophysics Department on telescope mask designs for high contrast imaging of stars and extra-solar planets.

During her undergraduate summers, Anne operated a Rutherford Backscattering Spectrometer (RBS), tested electrostatic discharge (ESD) devices, and helped publish the results for journals and physics symposiums. “Even though I was successful, I found it less satisfying than I’d hoped. I wanted a career that had to do with two things: physics and people.”  Anne redirected her energies from research to teaching.

Anne earned her master’s degree in education from the University of Vermont in the spring of 2004 and has been teaching at Montpelier High School since the fall of that year. “One of the goals I have in teaching is to make it real, and that means finding authentic problems to address in the community. As we engage issues, problems, and questions outside the borders of our school, kids are then able to see, ‘My gosh! My education is meaningful.’”