At Annapolis High School (AHS), students know that Allison Felton will do whatever it takes to help them succeed in math. The district places a strong focus on ninth-grade success; Felton was hand-picked to work with ninth-graders on the Early Warning Indicator list, who struggle with attendance, behavior and grades. Despite their struggles in other classes at the high-needs, highly-diverse school, they all thrived in and passed Felton’s Algebra I class. Even students who lack confidence in their math skills say they know they will succeed with Felton as their teacher. And they do: Felton’s students showed 20% growth from 2015 to 2016 in Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) year-end assessments for Algebra I. She works equally well with both high- and low-performing students: In the three years Felton has taught AP Calculus at AHS, an International Baccalaureate (IB) World school, she has increased both the average AP exam score and the size of the program.
In her classroom, Felton uses multiple IB Middle Years Program (MYP) strategies. Students answer debatable, conceptual and factual questions; employ reciprocal questioning, where students quiz their peers on class content; and exemplify “thinking in action” by sharing questions with the class on large white boards. As a member of the school’s MYP Synergy team, Felton has led schoolwide professional development on IB tenets like increasing the effectiveness of global awareness, as well as educational technology, instructional strategies, data tracking and assessment, and strategies to support kinesthetic learning. Felton leads the AHS Algebra I team, which has become a beacon of success around the county and now works with the Algebra I teams at two other high-needs schools in the district.
Felton has written Algebra I curriculum used throughout the district and helped schedule review sessions at AHS for PARCC assessments and AP tests. She acts as the backup department chair when needed, mentors pre-service teachers, and was one of two classroom teachers asked to participate in structured walk-throughs as part of the principal’s rating process. Felton co-chaired a 12-day Summer Bridge program AHS hosted for rising ninth graders, managing the educational activities, staff budget, field trips and logistics of daily breakfast and lunch for 130 students.
Felton earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics in 2010 and a master’s in teaching in 2011 from the University of Pittsburgh.
Press release: Algebra teacher Allison Felton solves student engagement equation, earns $25,000 Milken Educator Award
"Like many other first-year teachers, classroom management was my biggest struggle. Students would yell at me and then I would yell..." (read more)