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2013 Rubenstein Award for Highly Effective Teaching Winner

Amy C. Wertheimer, 2nd Grade Teacher, Watkins Elementary School

Amy Wertheimer1

Amy Wertheimer is celebrating her 10th year as an educator at Watkins, after seven years of prior teaching experience. Her Assistant Principal, Vanessa Drumm, says, “She is beloved by parents, because she has so much patience for even the most challenging students. Some teachers even send their kids to her when they are misbehaving, and students excel in her classroom thanks to the warm, but rigorous, environment.” Miss Wertheimer has represented her colleagues on the Personnel Committee, as PTA liaison, and as LSAT teacher representative. She has also mentored several student teachers, and is proud of earning her National Board Certification in 2008.

Miss Wertheimer is particularly concerned about teaching citizenship to her students. In addition to her high academic demands, she establishes “expectations of thinking and caring for others in our world,” something she considers an important part of her job as a teacher. Miss Wertheimer recalls watching Watkins’ 5th grade students stand on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and recite Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, and being reminded that her students’ diversity of background is what makes Watkins “such a challenging and rewarding place to work.” She explains, “We try every day to make Dr. King’s dream a reality.” Miss Wertheimer particularly enjoys witnessing the moment when a scholar’s “light bulb” goes off – “their faces light up and there is such pride.” But she acknowledges, “When my students return to say hello to me years, or even decades, later, they do not speak of the way I taught them to multiply or add. Instead, they talk about how I taught them to think, and to think of others. That is what inspires me!” She has been rated Highly Effective on all four years of IMPACT evaluations.