ODU Alumna Receives National Teaching Award

Kelly Zunkiewicz


Columbus, OH – Ohio Dominican University (ODU) congratulates 2007 alumna Kelly Zunkiewicz for receiving the third annual TNTP 2014 Fishman Prize for Superlative Classroom Practice. Zunkiewicz teaches Precalculus and Advanced Placement (AP) Calculus, and serves as a math coach at Earl J. Lennard High School in Ruskin, Fla. 

Zunkiewicz and three other teachers were selected to receive the award from a pool of more than 800 applicants from 46 states and the District of Columbia. As part of the award, Zunkiewicz will receive $25,000 and participate in an intensive, six-week summer residency. During the residency, she will meet with leaders in education. She also will discuss with other teachers practices to improve the classroom experience. Insights and knowledge gained from this collaboration will be captured in a short paper. 

The TNTP Fishman Prize is one of the most selective awards for practicing school teachers in the nation and is the only national award for teachers in high-poverty public schools. Approximately 75 percent of Lennard High School’s 1,600 students are eligible for reduced or free lunch.  

In Zunkiewicz’s AP Calculus class last year, she increased the exam pass rate from 11 percent to 80 percent. This year, her students earned a 93-percent average on their winter benchmark exam, which surpassed every one of the other 26 schools in Hillsborough County. 

“Kelly is the kind of teacher we created the Fishman Prize for,” said TNTP President and Fishman Prize Judge Timothy Daly. “She has developed a highly successful calculus program that fills half its seats with young women. And she’s done it with a ton of heart. Kelly is a testament to all of the brilliant teachers nationwide working to expand STEM opportunities to every student.” 

About the Fishman Prize for Superlative Classroom Practice 

The Fishman Prize is named for Shira Fishman, a current DC Public Schools (DCPS) math teacher who was named the 2011 DCPS Teacher of the Year and received a 2011 Milken Educator Award. Fishman left a career in engineering to become a teacher through TNTP’s DC Teaching Fellows program in 2004. To learn more about the Fishman Prize, visit www.tntp.org/fishmanprize. 

About TNTP 

TNTP is a national nonprofit organization committed to ending the injustice of educational inequality. Founded by teachers in 1997, TNTP works with schools, districts and states to provide excellent teachers for the students who need them most and advance policies and practices that ensure effective teaching in every classroom. 

About ODU 

Ohio Dominican University is a comprehensive, four-year, private, liberal arts and master’s institution, founded in 1911 in the Catholic Dominican tradition. The University has approximately 2,600 students and offers undergraduate degrees in 45 majors as well as 11 graduate degree programs. At ODU, students connect their passion with a purpose.