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Finding a teacher with professional engineering experience is rare. Finding a team of two? Even rarer still. But that is exactly what Oldham County Schools has done, Superintendent Will Wells has announced.
The district’s new Engineering Academy will launch in the fall, with instruction led by Lynn Campbell and Terri Tinnell — two teachers with 25 combined years of engineering experience and eight years of teaching experience.
The academy’s first class includes freshman and sophomore students from all three Oldham County high schools. The half-day academy will bring the students together at the district’s Arvin Education Center, with their time split between Introduction to Engineering Design and their required math course.
Oldham County High School’s Campbell teaches chemistry, advanced chemistry, chemistry II and principles of science. She began her teaching career at OCHS in 2009 after 20 years working for Rohm and Haas, a subsidiary of Dow Chemical, as a chemical engineer and engineering manager.
“During my learning curve transitioning from industry to the classroom, I have sought to make science more exciting and real-world, since memorizing information that can be quickly found in today’s electronic society will not equip students to meet 21st century challenges,” Campbell said.
Campbell said she enjoys helping students learn how science and engineering impacts and surrounds their everyday lives. Her professional experience also emphasized the importance of college and career readiness — Campbell said as an engineering manager she “helped many young college graduates become successful, contributing professionals.”
Campbell will be joined by Tinnell, who currently teaches in the engineering program at Collins High School in Shelby County. Tinnell helped the school launch its engineering program, which utilizes the same Project Lead the Way curriculum that will be implemented in the OCS Engineering Academy.
“When a teacher allows the student to truly find their greatest achievements and learn from the process, the greatest of learning experiences can occur,” she said. “The greatest impact I can have on my students is to foster their independence as thinkers and learners.”
Tinnell worked in engineering for five years before beginning her teaching career at Collins in 2010. She completed her student-teaching at OCHS in 2010 and was the University of Louisville’s “student teacher of the year” in science. Tinnell also led the launch of GEMS — Girls in Engineering, Math and Science — within all elementary schools in Shelby County, to increase female enrollment in engineering courses.
Wells said Campbell and Tinnell bring a exceptional combination of instructional and industry experience to the Engineering Academy.
“We couldn’t dream of a better team than Lynn and Terri,” he said. “We know our academy will be off to a great start with their leadership.”