• Teacher: Becky Metcalf
  • Subject: Mathematics
  • School: Northwest High School
  • Awarded: October 2011

Teacher Bio - On November 16th, Becky Metcalf considered taking the day off of work to celebrate her husband Mike's 50th birthday, but fortunately, he talked her into going into school that morning as usual. Imagine her surprise when Mike, along with a group of teachers, students and well-wishers burst into Metcalf's classroom and surprised her with a $1,500 check and the title of November 2011 Educating Excellence Award Winner.

Metcalf began teaching at Olathe Northwest High School when it opened in 2003. She helped plan and implement the Aerospace and Engineering department, which would later become an important part of the district's 21st Century Program. This innovative curriculum was designed to help give students in the district a competitive edge in their chosen career paths. Today, Metcalf is the only original member of the Aerospace and Engineering team still teaching at Olathe Northwest.

In addition to her classroom responsibilities, Metcalf goes the extra mile to find meaningful learning opportunities for her students. She schedules a variety of field trips and presentations, and can often be found mentoring students after school. Metcalf believes in fostering hands-on education experiences that help students apply classroom learning in real situations, and she guides many students through internships at Kansas City-area engineering firms. She also facilitates Olathe Northwest's BattleBot team, which has grown exponentially since its inception.

There are several common themes woven through the nomination letters written on Metcalf's behalf. Colleagues and students alike praise her teaching style, which supports learning through the use of real-world examples. She is also commended for teaching the value of failure, and developing problem-solving skills that students can use in college and beyond. Metcalf's supporters all say she treats her students as if they were her own kids, and she fosters a sense of trust and mutual respect in her classroom.

Thank you Mrs. Metcalf, for all the work you do!