Northeast Academy graduate trades basketball dream for teaching math
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Like many young athletes, STEM Academy Technical Assistant Ty Goldsmith had big dreams about playing in the NBA when he was a kid playing basketball at Northeast Academy in Oklahoma City Public Schools. It wasn't until his junior year of college on a full basketball scholarship at Mid America Christian University that he realized the dream might be out of reach.

"I got invited to a basketball camp that recruited professional players overseas. I got hurt, left the camp with nothing but experience, had surgery and burnt out," Ty explained.

He did, however, graduate college with a 3.8 GPA, was named to the list of Who's Who Among Students in American Colleges and Universities, and received several awards and scholarships. Although he began college as an international business major who enrolled in zero-level math courses, he graduated with a math degree.

Ty Goldsmith

"The light went on and math just made sense one day. After that, I excelled and really enjoyed math," he said.

After enough people commenting that he would make a good educator, Ty started substituting in Oklahoma City Public Schools while earning his alternative teaching certificate. He later taught Geometry at Star Spencer High School, and then took a break to practice what he preached to students.

"I was still young and always had a love for music. Here I was, telling young people to chase their dreams, but I never pursued my own. I did some freelance producing, song-writing, played keyboard and bass guitar. I met some great people and have no regrets about that year. It was something I needed to do to be authentic."

He went back to teaching algebra at Millwood Middle School and during that time, reconnected with Dr. Dennis Portis, who taught Pre-Engineering at Metro Tech during the year Ty attended as a high school student. Dr. Portis told Ty about an opening at the STEM Academy at Metro Tech, and Ty jumped at the chance to work for Metro Tech.

"I am a CareerTech fan, as it gives me a lane to teach skills that will be used in industry. We teach students hands-on concepts that aren't just busy work. It's an intentional and purposeful education. I am teaching things I remember learning as a high school student."

To learn more about the STEM Academy:

Metro Tech is an Oklahoma technology school that offers free tuition to Oklahoma City Public Schools, Crooked Oak Public Schools and Millwood Public Schools students. Full-time and part-time training is also offered for adult students. For more information (405) 424-TECH.