Donna Kuberg's Energy Rubs Off in Science Class & the Volleyball Court

Reported by: Joe Legge
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Updated: 10/24/2012 9:14 am
Donna Kuberg loves solving problems through science and math.  But she wasn't always a teacher.  "You come into work, do the calculations, and solve the little problems, and you go home."

A few years ago, Kuberg gave up her position as a chemical engineer at a popular health products company, after learning Tennessee was issuing emergency permits for math and science teachers due to a shortage.  "And somewhere along the way, I wanted something more.  And it was interesting, one of my kids from my Sunday school class said you're a great teacher you need to try teaching."

Kuberg's brings her private sector experience into the classroom... answering that age old student question -- "when am I ever going to use this in the real world?"  She talks about architecture, engineering, and chemistry.

Kuberg doesn't rely on a textbook to teach Science.  Students, like Brandi Massengale, take a lot of notes during her lectures and learn from hands on labs and experiments.  "She really helps us achieve our goals in the classroom and helps us work'em out."

Countless shirts, pictures, and trophies decorate Kuberg's walls showing off her other love -- volleyball.  Like in chemistry, this school and club coach emphasizes the steps each player needs to take to be successful.  Volleyball player Marjorie Smith says "she pushes us more harder and she like, if we try to quit, she doesn't make us quit, she pushes us to our best ability."

"Life doesn't always go your way and so when you have a bad game you need to learn how to adapt," says Kuberg.  And she did just that.  After a rough first year in the classroom, she revised her approach to develop more lasting relationships with her students.  "I want this to feel like this is a part of them, not just a classroom."

If you know a teacher like Donna Kuberg, recommend him or her for our Golden Apple Award.  Click here to fill out a nomination form.
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