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Education and Certifications

  • Master of Art in Teaching, Lewis & Clark College, June 2004
  • Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering, North Carolina State University magna cum laude, 1997
  • Oregon Teaching License with Endorsements in Integrated Science, Mathematics and Middle Level Subjects

Teaching Experience

  • International School of Beijing, August 2013 – current (MS Science, Mathematics, Technology and Gardening)
  • American School in Taichung, August 2010 to June 2013 (MS Science, Mathematics, Technology and Gardening)
  • Sunnyside Environmental School, August 2004 to June 2006; August 2007 to June 2010 (Integrated 6-8 grade class, Science, Mathematics, Language Arts, Social Studies, Service Learning, Field Studies)
  • United States Peace Corps in Guinea, West Africa, June 2006 – 2007, Mathematics Teacher

Engineering Experience

  • URS Corporation (June 1998 – June 2003)
  • Ashland Inc. (June 1997 – 1998)

Teaching Practices & Methodologies

  • Observation, Inquiry and Reasoning – These scientific habits form the basis of my instruction. I use outdoor observations, discrepant events, and student-designed experimentation to encourage questioning and thought as students learn new content. (Article featured in the EARCOS Winter 2012 magazine – page 20)
  • Assessment as Conversation – Students are the key entities in an academic setting and need to know their position on a topic’s learning continuum. I provide detailed and regular feedback through a Standards-Based Grading system while encouraging students to take ownership of their learning through student-initiated assessments.
  • Reflection – I strongly believe that constant improvement as a teacher is possible but requires the discipline to pause and reflect over teaching practices and to continually search for areas of improvement. I maintain a teaching blog to encourage reflection and regularly provide students with guided opportunities to develop this habit.
  • Problem Based Learning – In both science and mathematics, rich problems increase student engagement and provide learners with a reason to seek deeper understanding of a topic. Through scenarios, video clips, myths and other resources, I strive to provide students with engaging learning opportunities. Students collaborate their thinking through whiteboarding and round table discussions.
  • Literacy and English Language Learners – To support teaching of a high population of English language learners, I have engaged in SIOP training, book clubs, and assisted in the development of academic vocabulary fluency programs. Science and Mathematics classes regularly focus on student writing to process information.
  • Technology – As a former engineer, I rely on a strong technology background to enhance lessons and communicate with colleagues (Twitter @frankmcgowa), students (Class Blog) and parents (weekly emails and WeChat).


  • Team Leader / Coordinator (Sunnyside + American School in Taichung + ISB)
  • Activities Coordinator (American School in Taichung)
  • Soccer Coach (American School in Taichung + ISB)
  • Track and Cross Country Coach (ISB)



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