The third-graders in Tiffany Tynes Curry's class at Weinland Park Elementary School aren't just learning math: They are mathematicians. Walk into Tynes Curry's classroom and you'll see students developing their own mathematical theories to solve problems, working with manipulatives, cogently explaining their mathematical reasoning, presenting their methodologies to the class, and both questioning and being questioned by their peers. Tynes Curry teaches the whole child: She pairs her third-graders with a pre-K class, giving the older children the opportunity to exercise both academic and social leadership skills. She creates deep, trusting connections with each student, often sharing pizza lunches with small groups in her classroom.
Tynes Curry's students thrive under her tutelage at Weinland Park, a pre-K through fifth-grade school in Columbus serving a largely African-American student body, where 86% qualify for free or reduced-price lunch. Working proactively to align with Ohio's changing assessments, her students earn two years' worth of growth by year's end. Weinland Park's fourth-graders turn in the highest performance in the division cohort for math and science, a result in large part due to the foundation Tynes Curry lays the previous year. She relies heavily on data to understand exactly where each student sits on the learning continuum.
Tynes Curry is as passionate about teaching teachers as students. Prior to Weinland Park, she was a full-time teacher coach as a Teacher on Special Assignment (TOSA) for Columbus City Schools, developing teachers in math and focusing on school improvement. She coordinated "Intervention Fridays," an opportunity for students to have conversations with faculty about academic struggles, including understanding the materials and goals of a given lesson. Tynes Curry also developed after-school workshops about the Ohio Improvement Process, in which teachers learned how to use data to inform their instructional practices.
A respected teacher leader in the school and district, Tynes Curry sits on Weinland Park's Building Leadership Team and the district's School Improvement Team. She is responsible for monitoring teacher-based teams and coaching colleagues, participates in Ohio State University's ASPIRE program to support new educators, and provides both districtwide and statewide professional development. Tynes Curry conceived and implemented the Critical Friends network at Weinland Park to encourage discussion, dismantle isolated teaching practices and share best practices. She also created "Chat and Chew," offering professional development opportunities in the staff lounge during teachers' breaks. She is known for her ability to gain the attention of her audience and lead productive discussions.
Tiffany Tynes Curry earned a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education from Wittenberg University in 2001 and a Master of Education in curriculum and instruction from Ashland University in 2006. On March 17, 2017, she successfully defended her dissertation titled: A Comparative Study of Elementary Mathematics Specialists and Mathematics Coaches on Fourth Grade Students’ Mathematics Achievement, completing the requirements to earn her Doctorate of Education in Teacher Leadership degree at Walden University.
Press release: Math and Science Teacher Tiffany Tynes Curry of Columbus, Ohio, Receives Milken Educator Award Plus $25,000 Cash Prize
"I'm pursuing my doctorate because I want to be able to communicate the value of having specialized elementary school teachers. We..." (read more)