Three area teachers have been highlighted by the Rochester Area Math and Science Partnership for what that organization calls dedicated leadership and commitment to helping students.
This year's award winners are: ViAnn Olson of Rochester Community and Technical College, Beverly Nelson of Stewartville Public Schools and Anne Solberg of Zumbrota-Mazeppa Public Schools.
"They really push their students to excel and they have high expectations for their kids," RAMSP Executive Director Kim Norton said.
Also, here is more information from the press release about each teacher. (Text
unedited from release):
Anne Solberg: Ms. Solberg has been teaching 6th Grade in the Zumbrota-Mazeppa Middle School since 1990. She has had previous teaching experience in the area of Special Education. She also shares her love of music with students by co-directing 20 years of school musicals and as a volunteer piano accompanist for middle school vocal performances. Mr. Solberg instructs all 6th grade students in math as they use a rotation system. When benchmarked against the 13 other schools in the Hiawatha Valley League Conference, her students have continued to achieve the highest math scores of all schools – with more students reaching proficiency. Additionally, the number of students reaching the proficient level in math has increased as they move from 5th to 6th grade. Her nominator attributes her success to maintaining high expectations and rigor for every student – 91% of her Title 1 qualifying students were able to reach the proficiency level. She motivates students in a quiet, supportive manor and instills confidence in their ability to become “good” at math. Ms. Solberg serves on the curriculum committee, helped identify “gold standards” for their math curriculum and was one of the first teachers to request and utilize Smart Board technology in her classroom. She partners with IBM in their mentor and Engineers programs and has attended RAMSP trainings. – Nominated by Supt. Richard Meyerhofer
Dr. ViAnn Olson: Dr. Olson has12 years of teaching experience at the high school level and 21 years teaching in the Mathematics Department of the Rochester Community and Technical College (RCTC). Dr. Olson has taught everything from developmental math through second year Calculus, Differential Equations and Linear Algebra. Among Dr. Olson’s many activities and achievements is as a 20-year host for the MathCounts competition for area middle schools. She had developed workshops on Math Anxiety and programs on how to use the Cybertablet tool and new curriculum models. She has demonstrated a commitment to staff development, including work to revamp the WSU teacher Education curriculum and worked with department colleagues to assess the needs of struggling math students. She is open and accessible and provides group study sessions if additional learning opportunities are needed. – Nominated by Dr. Barb Mollberg
Beverly Nelson: Ms. Nelson teaches High School Biology, Advanced and AP Biology, Anatomy & Physiology, and Biotechnology in the Stewartville Public Schools. She has been with the district for 16 years and has 5 years of pervious experience at Wyckoff High School. Her experiences include teaching summer school, curriculum writing, Dept. Chairperson, Senior Class advisor and work on the Student Scholarship Committee. She also supports the school as an announcer at track meets, a scorer in gymnastics meets and has been an assistant Speech coach. Her strengths include imbedding reading and math skills as part of the science content area and uses strong continuous improvement components and tools in the classroom including: L to J strategies, tracking” essential key concepts” of students, uses pre & post testing strategies, PDSA, plus-delta, graphing and more. Her students consistently score above the state average in Science on the ACT test and she was recently nominated by a student for the U of M Outstanding Science Teacher Award. Ms. Nelson participated in the Mayo summer fellowship and Molecular Biology summer class programs, was one of the first teachers to “book” the Mayo/RAMSP Partnership Mobile Science Lab, and participates in the IBM Engineer Day. She also uses the IBM learning program, the MN Learning Village Partnership.