Ripon High School science teacher Rachel Thorson joins the Knowles Teaching Fellowship.
Ripon High School science teacher Rachel Thorson joins the Knowles Teaching Fellowship.

   When Ripon High School science teacher Rachel Thorson applied for the prestigious Knowles Teaching Fellowship, she was nervous.

   After a four- to five-month application process consisting of recommendations for Thorson’s teaching, an hour-and-a-half phone interview and in-person and group interviews in Philadelphia, she knew there was a chance she wouldn’t be selected.

   “Normally, I’m not very nervous ... but this was one of those things that I was intimidated by,” Thorson said. “And during the in-person interview when I was talking with all the other teachers there, they were some of the most impressive people in general that I’ve ever met. And I was like, ‘Oh, my gosh, I can’t be one of these people. They’re too cool. They’re just too good.’”

   The Knowles Teacher Initiative thought differently.

   Last spring, Thorson was out to dinner with her partner, and as they were walking home, she received a call from the president of the Knowles Teacher Initiative, which is a non-profit organization that supports new science and mathematics teachers with a five-year fellowship program.

   Read the full story, including the advantages of being a Knowles fellow, in the Oct. 10, 2019 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.