LifeChanger of the Year Nominee Profile

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Betsy Wermuth

Position: STEM Exploration Teacher
School: Northbridge Middle School
School District: Northbridge Public Schools
City, State: Whitinsville, MA

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Betsy Wermuth was nominated by her colleague, Laura Capistran.

Mrs. Wermuth is beginning her third year working in Northbridge Public Schools as a STEM teacher, and her eighth year of teaching. This year, she was nominated for the Raytheon STEM Teacher of the Year award for her work in enhancing her school's STEM Program. She and a colleague organized and coordinated guest speakers and activities for a STEM career day at her school. After school, she worked with students on a competition bridge-building team, assisted middle and high school students on research and presentations for the GLOBE Student Research Symposium in Buffalo, NY, and participated in school council and the advisory committee. Also, she has presented at WPI to STEM Club members and representatives from the Filipino Department of Education

For all that she has accomplished on her own, it pales in comparison to her work with colleagues to enhance the experiences of NMS students. She and a colleague, Lisa Gogolinski, attend events and trainings held by the Blackstone Valley Education Foundation, from robotic demonstrations to industry tours. They can both be found at every event, to the point where BVEF referred to them as "groupies," for their unwavering support. At WPI, the STEM Center staff recognize them by name at events such as AweSTEM and Dig it, Fab it, Make It. Their interest in getting real-world experiences for their students is always at the forefront of their teaching. Together, with NMS health teacher Moira Larson, they introduced and focused on adopting growth mindset language in their classrooms.

Over the past few years, they have coordinated student trips to Dell, Waters and Saint Grobain in celebration of manufacturing day. They have also brought students to WPI for an engineering experience, taken students to the Tufts STEM conference, and attended the BVEF Business and Education forum to talk and learn about how Northbridge students can be better prepared for the future. Together, they fill the middle school display cases and boards with STEM-related projects to showcase their students, and have applied for a BVEF education grant for a Maker Space at the middle school. This summer, Mrs. Wermuth worked on the strategic plan for the district and participated in the What School Could Be book club.