Lincoln-Way West teacher receives doctorate while juggling a family and career
Wednesday, January 4, 2017

On Saturday, December 17, 2016, Lincoln-Way West teacher Amanda Matty walked across the stage to receive her doctorate. Matty began the program of study three and a half years ago, when her younger child was only six months old. “I wanted to get my doctorate before the kids were active in sports so that I wouldn’t miss anything,” she says.

Dr. Matty has been with District 210 for over a decade; she began her career with Lincoln-Way in 2003 as a mathematics teacher at Lincoln-Way East, eventually moving over as the District Mathematics Chair at Lincoln-Way North, and most recently, she teaches at Lincoln-Way West.

“Getting my doctorate had always been something that I said I was going to do. As I got older, I realized it was achievable and I wanted to show my own kids that education is important,” she says.

While studying at the University of St. Francis, Dr. Matty attended classes every Tuesday night. Between course work, a full time job, and raising her two children, Matty was busy to say the least. Occasionally while in class, students were able to work through their dissertations with the help of professors. “You really have to work on your own, but St. Francis is unique in that they help walk you through the process.” Dr. Matty wrote her dissertation on inquiry based teaching in the mathematics classroom, which explored the benefits and results of asking students to self-discover and encouraging group work to solve problems. “It’s basically non-traditional teaching, but we had great findings with our lower level learners,” says Matty.

Matty says the most rewarding part of receiving her doctorate was the reaction from her children. “My son came to watch me defend my dissertation, and when they announced me as a doctor at the end, he came running and gave me a big hug. He was telling everyone he knows that his mom got her doctorate.”