I believe that teachers only have to light up a student’s imagination and initiative once to make a significant impact on their lives.”

Stephen’s Story

Stephen Traphagen’s commitment to teaching is rooted in his belief that self-improvement is a vital catalyst for the success of any undertaking. A long distance runner, Stephen experienced early on the far-ranging, positive effect of even small improvements. “The idea that I could be measurably (if only slightly) better one week than I was the last, really lit up my imagination.”

Always interested in biology, Stephen earned a BS from the University of Iowa and a Masters of Science from DePaul University. As his fascination with self-improvement continued, he found himself wanting to “put someone else in a position to be just a bit better than they used to be.” His decision to teach was strengthened when, as a volunteer high school track coach, he watched one of his students improve not only his running but his entire attitude toward school. The student became the fifth best sophomore in his state, went on to college and was recently accepted to Harvard Law School. “I want to see more of this kind of impact. I can think of no better job than teaching to do that.”

Stephen earned his credential through the Boston Teacher Residency Program and is committed to the improvement of urban science education.