I think teachers are a bit like gardeners. Every day, we show up to water whatever seeds have been planted throughout a student’s life. Sometimes a student flourishes in our class due to a known or unknown interest or talent and other times the opposite seems to be true. Oftentimes we don’t get to see the full bloom until some time after the watering and weeding has taken place, but the final picture is worth it!”

Samantha’s Story

Teaching Discipline


Why Chemistry 

“As I was going through my secondary and post-secondary education, chemistry became an increasingly interesting way to understand the world as I learned about basic chemistry, organic chemistry, and biochemistry. I think the topic of chemistry has so many access points for students from all backgrounds to understand and make sense of the way things work. I love it when students realize they can use basic concepts in chemistry to explain some really complex ideas. And who doesn’t love mixing chemicals together and blowing stuff up?!”

Professional Experience

Samantha worked in a cancer research lab throughout all four of the years she spent at the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana, where she studied the effects of the American diet on breast cancer metastatic levels. She also worked as a teaching assistant in the school’s Chemistry Department. For three semesters, Samantha taught college freshmen chemistry labs and lectures during discussion sections. 

During her junior year of college, Samantha traveled to Ecuador to work at an English camp in a village on the outskirts of Quito. Understanding that having a working knowledge of the English language can significantly impact the socioeconomic standing of families in that area, she worked with an international team of early teachers to develop a weekly curriculum of basic English words. 

Samantha began teaching at East Nashville Magnet High School during the 2018–2019 school year.


Samantha enjoys going for long hikes in the mountains and playing with Maisie, her yellow lab.

Academic Background

  • Vanderbilt University (Master of Education)
  • University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana (Bachelor of Science in Molecular and Cellular Biology)