Connie Martin and Marie Forst Recognized for Teaching Excellence

Connie Martin and Marie Forst Recognized for Teaching Excellence

Each year, Winchester Thurston School teachers are recognized for teaching excellence. 

Congratulations to Marie Forst, the 2020 recipient of the Judy Apt Nathenson Memorial Chair for Excellence in Elementary Education, and Connie Martin, the 2020 recipient of the Jane L. Scarborough Award for Teaching Excellence.

From left to right: Head of School Dr. Scott D. Fech, Third Grade Teacher Connie Martin, and Middle School English Teacher Callie DiSabato pose for a socially distanced photo at the presentation of the Scarborough Award.

Jane L. Scarborough Award for Teaching Excellence: Connie Martin

Head of School Dr. Scott D. Fech and the 2019 recipient of the Scarborough Award, Middle School English teacher Callie DiSabato, presented the award to Martin at her home due to the mandated closure of schools in Pennsylvania. Martin was chosen by a committee comprised of faculty members, students, and members of the Board of Trustees who received nomination letters from faculty and students.

Martin is known for being a humble, honest, innovative, and inspiring teacher, who tailors curriculum and pedagogy to the capabilities and interest of each student.

"Your unique vision of experiential learning in various units of study, such as the Teenie Harris Project and the City of Pittsburgh Unit, bring out the talents, interests, and enthusiasm of each third grader," shared DiSabato.

The Scarborough Award is given by the Board of Trustees to a returning member of the faculty who is making an exemplary contribution to teaching by demonstrating a strong professional commitment to the Winchester Thurston community, respects the uniqueness of the individual, values intellectual inquiry and mastery as well as intellectual honesty and humility, models for others the frustration and excitement of learning and the exhilaration of discovery, and views the experience of teaching as an opportunity to remain a lifelong learner.

Watch a video of the presentation below: 

 

Judy Apt Nathenson Memorial Chair for Excellence in Elementary Education: Marie Forst

Due to mandated closure of schools in Pennsylvania in order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, Forst was presented the award at her home, with several of her colleagues in attendance.

Forst is known for teaching with patience and compassion, creating a safe classroom environment abuzz with creative energy and joyful play where everyone is valued, respected, and supported. "Students are encouraged to explore their interests, wonder, collaborate, struggle, make mistakes, and solve problems," noted Heather Capezzuti, Lower School North Campus Director. "While some teachers might feel uncomfortable with the unknown, Marie embraces this approach, understanding that learning is most applicable and meaningful when students are deeply invested and engaged."

The Judy Apt Nathenson Memorial Chair for Excellence in Elementary Education was established in memory of Judy Apt Nathenson, a 1969 graduate of Winchester Thurston School and Kindergarten teacher who sadly passed away in 2000. Judy vigorously championed the importance of early childhood education at Winchester Thurston School and throughout the Pittsburgh community.