Tamarah Danzy explores every possible angle to get her eighth graders hooked on science. The science department chair at Union 8th Grade Center in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, Danzy teaches both advanced and on-level learners. She incorporates literary strategies, technology, and student choice into lessons, always with an eye towards maximizing engagement. Students push chairs across rooms and hallways during lessons about forces and objects in motion. They stack potato chips during their engineering unit to explore the effects of force and gravity on architectural structures, and build scientific vocabulary with QR codes and matching games. Danzy polls students via Instagram to help shape upcoming lessons and leans heavily on hands-on experiments. She believes in every student, gets to know them outside the classroom, and works diligently to ensure their success. Pupils know she will tell them the truth and support, love and respect them no matter what.
Danzy brings her solution-oriented attitude to Union’s site leadership team and science textbook committee. She mentors student teachers and has contributed to state science assessments. Danzy was one of several teachers selected for Union’s Flex Group, which addresses learning gaps with one-on-one and small group instruction during an extended period each day. She shares her instructional strategies generously with colleagues and has led districtwide professional development.
A joyful, inspiring presence, Danzy is a masterful relationship-builder. With students, she embraces her silly, fun side to help build trust and lasting connections. Danzy has been a Union cheer coach for more than a decade and often attends sporting events, musical performances, and other activities in which her students participate. Danzy sends letters to families detailing what children are learning and suggesting fun science projects to do at home. Former students and their parents tell Danzy how much they miss her and keep her updated on their successes when they meet in the community. She hails from a family of educators and provides a positive role model, especially for students of color, with a noticeable domino effect—they become better students under her care, and then they encourage their peers to be better.
Danzy earned a bachelor’s in science in 2004 from University of Central Oklahoma and a master’s in education in 2018 from University of Phoenix.
Press release: Milken Family Foundation Surprises Broken Arrow Teacher with $25,000 Milken Educator Award
"I love what I do. I love being able to see the growth in kids from the beginning to the end of the year....I hope that we've built a..." (read more)