IDEA welcomes two new educators to our science department this year. Robert Graham, who is teaching Biology to our ninth-grade scholars, comes from a long line of educators. His father was a math and science teacher and a school principal, and his mother was a teacher. “Education was very important in our family,” Graham explained.
A North Carolina native, Graham graduated with a degree in Biology from East Carolina University. He moved to the DC area in 2007 and has taught in DC schools since then. “I like contributing back to our community,” Graham said. “I feel like I am molding the future and I want scholars to be excited about STEM [science, technology, engineering, and math].” Graham is a self-described lifelong learner who enjoys traveling and trying new foods.
Tiffani Weaver, who is teaching Physics to our 10th-grade scholars, is a native Washingtonian. After graduating from Talladega College with degrees in biology and chemistry, Weaver worked as a research scientist at Duke University and the National Institutes of Health, studying allergies and infectious diseases, HIV/AIDS, the effects of different drugs on memory and learning, and animal behavior. She earned her master’s degree from Trinity Washington University.
“While I was working in the lab, I trained and supervised university students and summer interns, and I discovered I liked teaching,” Weaver said. She transitioned from the lab to the classroom and “loved every minute of it.” Weaver taught for a decade in middle schools and then for more than a decade in high schools, primarily in Ward 7. “It’s important for me to work in my community—supporting and helping move my community forward.”
“I like teaching high school because it’s a big challenge and responsibility to make sure you’re helping students get ready for college or the next phase of their life,” Weaver explained. “I want scholars in my classroom to know they can be successful and that I’m fair and equitable to all. If they put in the energy, I’m giving it right back to them. I want them to know that physics is in everyday life. You use physics in everything you do whether you recognize it or not. When you throw a ball, how do you know where it’s going? Because of you have some understanding of force and how it applies to the ball.”
Weaver uses her knowledge of physics when she goes skiing, one of her favorite activities. She also enjoys eating a variety of ethnic foods.
Welcome to the IDEA family, Mr. Graham and Ms. Weaver!