May 15, 1998
By Amy Ozmun
UW-RF News Bureau
University of Wisconsin-River Falls graduate Amy Stenson has been named Wisconsin's 1997 Outstanding Student Teacher by the Wisconsin Council of Teachers of English. She was presented with a plaque during an awards luncheon recently at the Monona Terrace convention center in Madison.
"I was very flattered to win the award, but I can't believe that every student teacher does not go above and beyond when there are so many opportunities right in front of you," Stenson says.
Stenson is currently employed by the Hastings School District in Hastings, Minn., as a member of the English faculty.
Every school in Wisconsin with an English Education program is encouraged to nominate a candidate for the Outstanding Student Teacher Award. Stenson, a 1997 graduate with a major in English Education, was nominated for the award by the English Education Committee of UW-River Falls. The committee is made up of three professors from the University's English department: Ruth Wood, Nicholas Karolides, and David Furniss.
Their nomination included their observations about Stenson as well as from those who have worked with the candidate in the classroom or other areas.
According to Wood, "We felt pleased the Committee choose Amy because she exemplifies what a teacher should be. It seems that no one who meets or works with Amy fails to recognize her exceptional gifts as a motivating human being."
Stenson completed her student teaching at the River Falls High School in River Falls, where she made an exceptional impact on many of the staff and students. According to the letter submitted by the English Education Committee, the River Falls High School faculty said that Stenson was the most prepared student teacher that the high school has had in the past decade. She was always willing to help in any way that she could, and always projected her positive attitude toward staff and students. Even in difficult situations, Stenson was credited with being able to see the positive side of a situation and work through it no matter how difficult it appeared.
The nomination letter noted, "These observations and testimonials point to the conclusion that Amy Stenson has been a model student teacher: one who has gotten her students deeply engaged in Language Arts study; one who has made her students-in all their individuality-learn and succeed; one who has not only fulfilled her responsibilities, but gone far "above and beyond"; one who has served as a personal and professional role model in knowing and loving her field, being eager to learn and give of herself, and displaying a 'never say quit' attitude."
Stenson is not only known for her hard work and dedication in the classroom, but also in various aspects of the University and community. While a student at UW-RF, Stenson was a YMCA camp counselor, a Resident Assistant, a varsity softball coach in Rochester, Minn., and a volunteer worker in River Falls with Ezekial Lutheran Church, Turningpoint Women's Shelter, and Have A Heart Daycare.
Stenson also was a UW-River Falls varsity softball co-captain and was selected Conference Softball Scholar Athlete Award during the spring of 1996. Because of her love for athletics, service to the university and to the community, and her dedication to academics, Stenson was awarded the UW-River Falls Chancellor's Award at her graduation, the highest award for service to the University.
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