MAT Cohort 2012-2013


 Valentino Boeri

Secondary Math

   I was born in Italy and moved to America at a very young age. After graduating from Emory I went abroad to South Korea to teach English for three years. While there I confirmed my desire to teach and decided to return to Emory to get certified in secondary mathematics. When not lesson planning I enjoy playing chess and Sudoku.


Emma Follansbee

Secondary English

My life has taken several interesting turns. I was born in Massachusetts, grew up in Richmond, Virginia, and received my undergraduate degree from Centre College in Danville, Kentucky. I will be honest and say that I never thought I would be here, I never thought I would want to be a teacher. However, I have never been happier with a decision. I was originally a theatre major and wanted to sing and act for the rest of my life. When I realized that was tremendously impractical and impossibly trying, I eventually turned to teaching, a profession that lets me play, have fun, and work with people, but also explore texts and toy with words, just like one can in the theatre. Most importantly, I get the chance to help students find confidence and individual voices that will empower them for the rest of their lives.  I feel so blessed to be a part of such a wonderful cohort, and would not be able to get through this program without their support.

I came to Emory because of its reputation, but also because I knew the program would be small, and I would have other new teachers by my side. Their knowledge and experiences have taught me so much, and I know their ideas andwords will follow me wherever I go! 


Peggy Jones

Middle Grades


I was born and raised in Champaign, Illinois where my Dad is an engineering professor at the University of Illinois.  I went to college at the University of Chicago where I studied biology and anthropology.  I first discovered the joys of teaching in my junior year while working as a tutor for high-school students for U of C's Upward Bound Program.  After graduating, I spent a year working for a YMCA after school program which provided opportunities for elementary and middle school students to improve their math and reading skills.  Now I feel lucky to be part of Emory's wonderful MAT program.  As it happens, while I work towards my Masters degree, my mom is working towards a PhD in education.  We enjoy sharing ideas and stories about our experiences.


Kenneth Patterson

Secondary Physics

I was born in Cleveland, Ohio and raised in Lawrenceville, Georgia. I received my BS in Physics from Emory University in 2008 with a specialization in astrophysics. I did astronomical research at Emory's observatory. I first began teaching as a TA in Emory's physics department


Catharine Schill 

B.B.A. Finance

University of Georgia - 2009

Middle Grades Mathematics and Social Studies 

I grew up in Decatur, Georgia attending some of the best Atlanta public schools. After graduating from the University of Georgia's business school, I worked in benefits consulting for the first three years after college. Through a volunteer organization called Junior Achievement, I had the opportunity to teach personal finance classes in Atlanta public high schools, and in the classroom I found my true calling. While I enjoyed my experience in Corporate America, my passion is teaching mathematics and economics to our youth and helping them find their own paths and passions. Outside of class, you can find me cooking, running, traveling, and reading. After completing the MAT program at Emory University, I hope to teach high school math or economics or middle school math.


Gina Song

B.A. Political Science, Emory University

Secondary Political Science

  Born and raised in Portland, OR, I am thankful to have been part of the Emory MAT program. It expanded my understanding of education and sharpened my teaching skills. My favorite part of the program was our small, intimate cohort of 10 rock stars: we learned, suffered, played, and most importantly, reflected together. I like to think of teaching as the art of shepherding someone from point A to point B, whether that journey is intellectual or personal. The classroom is my arena for civic duty, where students will always remain at the center and the course materials will be a simple backdrop of their learning. I am excited to be a teacher not only for what I hope to contribute but also for what I know I can learn from my students and fellow teachers



Amber Williams

B.A. English

Tougaloo College- 2012

Secondary English

“It’s time for greatness- not greed. It’s a time of idealism- not ideology. It is a time not just for compassionate words, but compassionate action.” – Marion Wright Edelman        

Daughter of an educator and an educator in Heart and Spirit, I am a native of Clarksdale, MS. However, I received a Bachelor of Arts in English Magna Cum Laude from Tougaloo College in Jackson, MS. Since finding my passion for education at a young age, I have followed a path that would increase my knowledge base and nurture my ambitions of making a difference in education. My encounters of being a candidate for a Bachelor’s of Arts in English degree allowed me to broaden the lens by which I examine education.

 My stellar academic record exemplifies the work of a budding scholar. However, it is this work coupled with my service to the community that has been most fulfilling to me on this journey, as I have identified my philosophy of education to be a mixture of social reconstruction and progressivism. I am determined to create a change in the public school system.

The opportunity of being accepted into a program that has a mission to “reform and improve education, particularly urban education, by conducting outstanding research, providing engaged and challenging teaching, and being actively involved in schools and other educational institutions in the community,” has been a major resource on my journey.

Upon serving urban communities in the classroom for several years, I have future aspirations to obtain my Ph.D. in Educational Policy in hopes of one day returning to my home state, Mississippi, and becoming State Superintendent of Mississippi Public Schools.