ALLEN DISTINGUISHED EDUCATORS
Educators: Courtney Bryant, Beth White, Reginald O'Neill
School/District: Charles R. Drew Charter School
Location: Atlanta, GA
Ms. Bryant attended college at Case Western Reserve University and the Cleveland Institute of Art, studying Art Education and Design. There, she learned about STEAM—design education with multidisciplinary, problem-based investigation—before the acronym existed.
Ms. Bryant has taught K-12 students in public schools and museums in Cleveland, Charlotte, and Atlanta, almost exclusively in low-income communities. She created the Animation Program at South Atlanta High School. She then went on to create the school’s Engineering Design Program. While there, she earned CTAE Teacher of the Year for Atlanta Public Schools as a result of the innovative STEAM/PBL/student-centered curriculum. Additionally, her students won Art School of the Year for Atlanta Public Schools for three consecutive years. One of her students also won the prestigious American Institute of Architects High School Design Competition.
She pursued a graduate education at the Maryland Institute College of Art, researching the cultivation of creativity through technology and generating a body of work in animation. Her research results were published in the Journal of the National Art Education Association’s March 2010 edition. Currently, she utilizes her research and passion for designing innovative curriculum in her work with students in the Engineering Design Studio at Drew Charter School where she created the K-5 Design Program. In April of 2015, School Arts Magazine highlighted her students’ work for their design and build of the STEAM based TinkerYard. She also presented at the 2010 and 2015 National Art Education Association Annual Conferences, most recently sharing the methodology behind the TinkerYard and her work in STEAM/design based initiatives such as 3D printing. Most recently Ms. Bryant and her team won a STEM Education Award, granted by the Technology Association of Georgia and she was named as a winner for Governor’s Innovation in Teaching Award for her work with her K-5 Design Program.
Ms. White completed her undergraduate studies at Colorado State University in Civil Engineering. Immediately after receiving her Bachelors, she began her career as an Engineer in Atlanta. While working towards earning her engineering license, she became actively involved in the Atlanta Chapter of Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and was elected Vice President of Outreach of the Atlanta Chapter of SWE. It was through her experience designing STEM experiences for children that she was able to identify her true passion of sharing her love of science and engineering with youth. After six years, Ms. White left the engineering field to pursue her Masters in Teaching (Physics) at Kennesaw State University. While studying at Kennesaw State University she was granted the I-IMPACT NOYCE Fellowship, a five-year fellowship designed to help new teachers become excellent classroom teachers and teacher leaders within their first five years of teaching. After receiving her Masters in Teaching from Kennesaw State University in 2013, Ms. White joined the staff at Drew Charter School with the opportunity to build an Engineering Design Program for the Senior Academy from the ground up, starting with the initial cohort of Senior Academy staff, in the inaugural year of the Drew Senior Academy.
Ms. White currently delivers all instruction through a project-based learning model, with a goal of each project being authentic. She teaches 9th through 11th graders Engineering Design, while working with the Design Team to create vertical curriculum alignment K-11. Ms. White plans to have internship placements for all of her first senior class in Engineering or Design fields next school year, to apply their design skillsets.
Reginald O’Neill is a teacher at Charles R. Drew Charter Senior Academy in Atlanta, Georgia. He currently teaches Business & Technology courses and has previously taught courses in robotics engineering and Spanish. He has undergraduate degrees in Theology and Information Technology and is currently pursuing an MBA in Information Technology Management. Reginald brings a wide range of professional experience to the classroom. He began working in property management before transitioning to IT as a network security engineer. For ten years prior to teaching, his love of business ownership led him to experience entrepreneurship in IT consulting, real estate acquisitions, portfolio management, and mortgage banking. Reginald is currently a member of the leadership team at Drew Charter and serves as chair of the school’s instructional technology task force.
View Courtney, Beth and Reggie's Video Microdocumentary
| View Courtney, Beth and Reggie's DIY Guide: Design Thinking for Gift Giving
| View Courtney and Beth's Roadmap on: Combining Art and Engineering in the Classroom
| View Beth and Reggie's Roadmap on: Integrating mentorship into Education