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GrowNextGen teacher leader

Tracy Martz

Director of STEM Initiatives at Dayton Early College Academy

Tracy is happy to be contacted about anatomy & physiology, biology; STEM job shadows & internships; and STEM certification for ODE & OSLN. She is interested in collaborating about anatomy & physiology; biology, microbiology, and STEM.

What about teaching excites you?
My DECA scholars excite and motivate me every day. These students are the “why” I teach. I love the questions they ask, their engagement in labs, the real-world connections they make, and their drive to succeed in STEM careers. Opening their world to STEM careers in computer science, forensics, agriculture, medical research or biomedical engineering at a young age gives them exposure to ideas they may have never even thought of. Being recognized by ODE and OSLN with STEM designation for DECA Prep, DECA Middle, and DECA High gives our students access to people in the industry, bringing STEM passion and opportunities to the forefront of their education from K -12.

How do you help students make the industry or real-world connection to what they’re learning?
DECA students begin earning college credits in a small and supportive environment, coupled with a rigorous curriculum and community engagement. DECA’s absolute focus is that students attend college, prepared to graduate. Creating a 21st-century workforce is embedded into the educational philosophy at DECA. Students matriculate by passing through six performance-based gateways instead of traditional grade promotions. Each gateway increases in academic rigor and progresses through skills for 21st-century learners, beginning with presentations of learning and finishing with precision and accuracy for college readiness. Community engagement, personalized learning, career connections, and college readiness skills are paramount for student success. Partnerships with interservice, industry, and academia support the gateways by exposing students to individualized research topics and custom job shadows and internships with STEM opportunities to graduate with STEM Honors.

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