PFAFFTOWN, N.C. — Reagan High School math teacher Wendy Bartlett has a somewhat simple philosophy when it comes to teaching.
“The first thing I think is, ‘I teach kids — not math,'” she says. “So that’s a philosophy in that they’re not going to remember anything I teach them or have any interest in anything I teach them, until they know that I love them.”
You can see she truly cares about her students every day in her classes and that’s what made principal Brad Royal want her for his staff. “Ms. Bartlett is just a phenomenal teacher,” Royal says. “She genuinely had this passion, not just for teaching math, she does have a very big passion for that. But its a passion for kids. She just gets kids.”
That’s one of the many reasons the National Science Foundation gave Bartlett the Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching. It is the nation’s highest honor for math and science teachers.
“It’s a huge honor and never in a million years did I think I would get it,” Bartlett said.
To accept her award she traveled to Washington D.C. where she toured the White House, visited the Kennedy Center for the awards ceremony… and spent some time idea-sharing with other award recipients. Only four recipients came from North Carolina.