Listee Features — November 10, 2017


Growing up, Elizabeth Petty had a variety of mentors who shaped her career and who she is today. Her mother, an elementary school teacher, first sparked her interested in education, and her father, a computer programmer, introduced her to the joys of math. Her high school math teacher, Beverly Smith, then showed her how her passions could be used, as did her college math education professor, Dr. Sharon Crumpton. Under their tutelage, Dr. Petty blossomed, earning a Bachelor of Science in mathematics from Belmont College in 1991, a Master of Education from Belmont University in 1995, and a PhD (ABD) in mathematics education from Vanderbilt University in 1998. She also became a licensed professional teacher in the state of Tennessee

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Certified in occupational therapy, Julia Kaoru Murray dedicated her whole career to kids with learning disabilities like autism and ADHD. Although she retired in 2010, she is still remembered throughout her community for her connection to her students, who credit her with being the only teacher with whom they could be themselves in class. They appreciated that they didn’t have to restrict themselves with her, as they did in other classes. ​ Ms. Murray’s journey initially began when she was in 6th grade. She received a pamphlet promoting new and interesting professions, and, was drawn to occupational therapy. Although less than 20 colleges offered it at the time, she persevered, and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from the University

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