Vincent “Vinny” Chiaramonte reached Phi Kappa Phi status earning a 4.0 GPA while pursuing his master’s degree in secondary education. These days, he’s inspiringseventh and eighth-grade computer science students at R.F. Bumpus Middle School, while making them feel valued and welcomed, especially when he gives his popular “You have a purpose” speech. He takes a genuine interest in students as individuals, making it a point to call them by name and learn their individual interests. Via Skype, one class even met the CEO of Flickr, who explained how he built a successful tech company. Chiaramonte teaches his students that barriers are opportunities for growth.
Chiaramonte joined the faculty of R.F. Bumpus Middle School in 2014. The role enables him to help students master foundational computer science skills through coding, computational thinking, sequencing, and formulation. Chiaramonte believes all students should become what he calls “solution-makers”: young minds that use critical-thinking skills to solve problems encountered in everyday life.
As such, Chiaramonte provides a stimulating and challenging classroom environment using a “living” curriculum that weaves in new technologies and out-of-the-box big ideas, including a Robots on the Move project and designing math software about cornrow braiding. Reinventing his own computer science courses, lessons are built around guided and independent practice, student-led instruction, critical thinking, and real-life applications with a writing component accompanying all final projects. Students log in, go to his blog, view tutorials and complete the “Do Now” assignments requiring problem-solving and collaboration. Chiaramonte’s students gain an appreciation for computer science and gravitate toward the high school’s engineering and information technology career academies.
In addition to his roles as classroom teacher and football coach, Chiaramonte is the school’s Engaged Learning Initiative facilitator working with teachers throughout the district to promote its 1:1 environment, a program to provide access to each child with a tech device (e.g. iPad or Chromebook). His leadership position on the school improvement team resulted in The Bumpus Way – a new positive culture initiative at the school. Chiaramonte has presented for Hoover City Schools’ Learn, Teach and Inspire Conference and the Alabama Educational Technology Conference, where he was chosen to be the first statewide facilitator for the newly developed code.org middle school curriculum.
A blog contributor to www.csforallteachers.org, Chiaramonte also shares his knowledge and love for technology with the community at large. He is the volunteer designer and lead teacher for the TechBirmingham Code Club and Kids-Code-A-Thon, and graduated from Space Camp for Educators.
Prior to public education, Chiaramonte worked in the private sector as an investments coordinator for a project management firm. He also taught in private schools, worked as a youth minister, and completed his student teaching in Shelby County Schools before joining Hoover City Schools.
A native of Georgia, Chiaramonte earned his Bachelor of Science in biblical studies from Toccoa Falls College in 2002, and his Master of Secondary Education in social science from the University of Montevallo, where he graduated with honors in 2011.