MTC '18 Spotlight: Johnathan Hill
NAME: JOHNATHAN HILL
COLLEGE: JACKSON STATE UNIVERSITY
PLACEMENT: WEST TALLAHATCHIE HIGH SCHOOL
1. What made you want to join the Mississippi Teacher Corps?
Having decided in undergrad that I would pursue a graduate field where I would be capable of researching issues in STEM education that revolved around academic identity, race, and equality, I decided to join MTC after much deliberation on whether to go directly into a doctoral program or teach first. Joining MTC was something of divine intervention and having the opportunity to give back by teaching in my home community was the icing on the cake.
2. We heard you interned at NASA last spring. What was that like?
I worked for NASA Stennis Space Center (SSC) the spring semester following graduating from Jackson State in fall 2017. While there, I worked as a STEM Education Research Intern where I researched how Stennis's Office of Education could improve their STEM education outreach programs and expand those programs into Mississippi Regions besides the Gulf Coast. It was an amazing experience getting to work at the Stennis Space Center and having opportunities to explore a part of NASA and gain understanding of all the great things happening in space education. The most enjoyable part of it all was getting to participate in some of the SSC STEM Outreach Programs and to see how excited students would get about STEM education.
3. What is it like teaching in your hometown?
Is this a trick question? Did Mrs. Jones-Chambers put you up to this? LOL. Teaching back home at West Tallahatchie High School has been challenging but rewarding. I'm so grateful to have the opportunity to go back six years after leaving for the Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science to impact a generation of students whom I practically grew up with. It's still a challenge getting accustomed to being in a different role and working with many of my former teachers. However, everyday my students make me appreciate the decision of going back even more!
4. You and Brent Eubanks attended Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science four years ago and now teach together in West Tallahatchie. Give us one good Brent Eubanks story.
Hmmmm, a good story about Brenton J. Eubanks, III, Brent's alternate identity. Brent was an emissary at the Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science (MSMS) when I first arrived and he was not at all what he appeared. To me, Brent appeared to be a quiet and shy person who somehow ended up with a position that would force him to be all but that. Clearly, I was mistaken. I can remember one night during orientation week where we attended a karaoke event. During this time in Brent's life, he had a mushroom-shaped haircut that kind of just sat there on his head with no movement. So, at one point during the night when I was not being anti-social, I looked up from my phone and I see this guy who's dancing but his hair isn't moving at all. I'm seeing this guy bounce and all and his hair is just there, not moving lol.