Fairmont State University student, Kaitlyn Stumpf, has been named the recipient of the 2021 Walter Regula Mathematics Teacher-in-Training Grant awarded by the West Virginia Council of Teachers of Mathematics. The $600 award is granted annually to an outstanding college or university student training to become a mathematics teacher with intentions of teaching in West Virginia.
“Kaitlyn is a perfect example of the excellent, home-grown talent we have right here in West Virginia,” said Mirta M. Martin, Fairmont State University President. “She is bright, empathetic, and has a terrific future ahead of her. This is why programs like the Walter Regula Mathematics Teacher-in-Training Grant are so vital – they help keep extraordinary talent like Kaitlyn’s in-state where we need it most.”
Although Stumpf knew from a young age that teaching was her calling, she had not yet determined where she would continue her educational pursuits post high school. After some exploration, Stumpf chose Fairmont State because the University afforded her the opportunity to continue her swimming career as a student athlete while also beginning her path to become an educator.
“As I started looking at colleges and majors, I just knew teaching was for me,” Stumpf said. “I heard nothing but great things about Fairmont State, but I also did my own research and it seemed like Fairmont’s education program was among the best in West Virginia.”
Stumpf began her first semester as an elementary education major, but hadn’t yet declared a concentration until she was enrolled in a mathematics course taught by Fairmont State Assistant Professor of Mathematics, Dr. Stephanie Jones, who she would later credit for her inspiration to become a math teacher.
“I want to thank Dr. Jones. I wouldn’t have received this grant without her, led alone chosen a math concentration,” Stumpf said. “She’s had the greatest impact on my education – and truly taught me the difference between knowing how to do math and knowing how to teach it. I feel very prepared to start my teaching career after college because of her.”
Stumpf is a West Virginia native, and looks forward to launching her career in the Mountain State, while also implementing change in the classroom.
“There is a high demand for quality mathematics education in West Virginia. I love my home state and there are many great schools in West Virginia, but there’s always room for improvements,” Stumpf noted. “I truly feel like improvements start in the classroom. I just want to be that activist to help students and improve education as a whole throughout the state.”
Stumpf said she recently spent considerable time reflecting on her time at Fairmont State.
“Just the other day my mother asked me, ‘Now that you’re three years into your college career, do you think you made the right choice in Fairmont State?’” Kaitlyn said. To which she quickly replied, “I couldn’t imagine myself anywhere else.”