Book talk and signing held for Miranda Talley Reagan ‘07

Book talk and signing held for Miranda Talley Reagan ‘07

April 27, 2016

Maryville College will host a book talk and book signing by alumna Miranda Talley Reagan ’07 at 4 p.m., May 2, in Anderson Hall 140.

Reagan’s book, STEM-Infusing the Elementary Classroom, was published in March by Corwin, a provider of professional learning resources that equip Pre-K–12 educators with innovative tools to improve teaching and learning. Copies of the book can be purchased at the event for $31.50.

Positively reviewed by teachers across the country, the book was written and published to help educators develop standards-aligned STEM projects across all content areas.

Dr. Jill Mertz, adjunct professor of education at Maryville College, called the book “an inspiration” for STEM teachers in elementary schools.

[Reagan] has answered all of the ‘but what ifs’ and the ‘I’m not sures’ and given teachers the answers to the 'hows and whys’ it will work,” Mertz wrote. “STEM-Infusing the Elementary Classroom is full of useful and fun information to guide teachers in this new, exciting area of education.”

The presentation, which is open to the public, is part of the College’s Junior/Senior Celebration.

MC prepared her for success

Majoring in child development and learning for teacher licensure and graduating from Maryville College in 2007, Reagan began her career as a fourth-grade teacher at Sam Houston Elementary in Maryville. Five years later, after Maryville City Schools implemented STEM in classes in all grade levels, she was named the school’s STEM lab teacher.

“In this position, I was able to develop the vision and curriculum for STEM at Sam Houston. During that time, we as a school began to discover how the design process associated with STEM could be used to allow students to practice grade-level standards by creatively applying them to real-world situations,” she wrote for a recent online alumni profile. “I began to help teachers develop STEM-infused lesson plans to integrate their classroom learning in design projects.”

Using a blog on the school’s website, Reagan logged her lab experiences. It became a popular resource for teachers around the country and even around the world.

She then spent a year as instructional coach for STEM and technology integration at Sam Houston and also worked with other schools interested in STEM integration.

“Although I learned so much from this opportunity, I desperately missed interacting with kiddos and requested to move back into the classroom. This year, I have a wonderful class of third graders. In my STEM-infused, 1:1 iPad classroom, we focus on student ownership, 21st-century readiness, risk-taking, and application of knowledge,” she wrote. “This is literally my dream job!”

Reagan credits her mentors and Maryville College education with her success in the classroom.

In the alumni profile, she wrote that Dr. Becky Lucas and Dr. Alesia Orren, both associate professors of elementary education, identified and encouraged her leadership potential. Dr. Terry Simpson, professor of secondary education and director of teacher education, showed her how to love and serve students. Associate Professor of Mathematics Dr. Margie Ribble (now retired) helped her overcome her math phobia. The curriculum gave her an appreciation for hands-on learning and helping students make connections across content areas.

“Maryville College taught me to embrace change and innovation but also to be reflective,” she wrote. “This balance between looking towards the future and valuing the past has played a huge role in getting me to where I am in my career.”

Maryville College is ideally situated in Maryville, Tenn., between the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Knoxville, the state's third largest city. Founded in 1819, it is the 12th oldest institution of higher learning in the South and maintains an affiliation with the Presbyterian Church (USA). Known for offering its students a rigorous and highly personal experience that includes an undergraduate research requirement, Maryville College is a nationally ranked institution of higher learning that successfully joins the liberal arts and professional preparation. Total enrollment for the Fall 2018 semester is 1,154.