Alumna Named New Teacher of the Year

by Katie Bradley | Jun 08, 2016

Beth Rothrock awardThe Metropolitan School District of Washington Township has named Beth Rothrock ’15 the 2015-16 First Year Teacher of the Year.

 “She is everything a principal could want in a first-year teacher,” said Matt Kaiser, principal of Northview Middle School. “She makes every student and staff member around her better by finding every possible creative way she can to support inside and outside the classroom.”

Rothrock serves as a math intervention teacher for grades 6-8 at Northview Middle School in Indianapolis. In this newly-created role, Rothrock is often working with students who not only struggle with math, but also struggle behaviorally.

“Through highly effective systems, routines, and expectations, as well as high expectations for her students, her classroom has become a model for intervention instruction,” Tom Hakim, the math department chair, said.

Her classroom data (based on the mid-year NWEA measurement) shows Rothrock’s students had the highest growth of any middle school classroom in the district. In fact, the success of Rothrock’s intervention model has led another middle school in the township to replicate it next year in their building. 

“Beth has quickly showed herself to be an emerging teacher-leader in our district,” Hakim said. “It would be hard for anybody to realize that Beth is a first-year teacher. She has been a model teacher for Northview and the district and we are proud to have her on our team.”

Beyond her work in the classroom, Rothrock coaches basketball, softball, and soccer; serves as coordinator of the Summer Think Through Math Program and the After-School Soccer Mentoring Program; and volunteers for weekend competitions like the Northview Brain Group and the Northview Gold Rush State Competition.

“Being a first-year teacher is challenging enough. However, Beth found the courage and time to serve as the head coach of three major sports, volunteer for various committee work, tutor students, serve as the coordinator of a mentoring program, and many more responsibilities while at the same time her students achieved exceptional learning outcomes,” said Kenith Britt, Ph.D., senior vice president of Teacher Learning Excellence and dean of the Educators College. “This truly is remarkable and serves as an example of what Beth and other young teachers have to offer today’s schools.”

Rothrock credits a passion for mathematics and her preparation from Marian University for her phenomenal first year of teaching.  

“Marian University prepared me for this successful year by having professors that truly care about their students and will answer a call whenever I had a question,” Rothrock said. “Their advice served me well and I cannot thank Dr. Grissom, Sr. Monica Zore, Professor Martz, and the education and math departments for all that they do to prepare us for our futures.”

Rothrock represents the kind of educator Marian University has aimed to develop for nearly 80 years.   

“Ms. Rothrock exemplifies what it means to be a transformational leader through her vocation as a teacher,” Dr. Britt said. “We will forever hold Beth as an example of how all of us should lead our lives – filled with love, service, and commitment to advance our world. On behalf of Marian University, I want to congratulate Ms. Beth Rothrock on receiving this award and for the great impact she has on the students entrusted to her care. We couldn’t be more proud to call Beth an alumna of Marian University.”

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