The Mensa Foundation’s Distinguished Teacher Award recognized a teacher, professor, or instructor at any educational level who had an especially positive influence on the education or life of a Mensa member.
The educator could impact the Mensa member directly or as a result of their influence on the education of a dependent. Essays were judged by a committee of three to seven Mensa members. The winning teacher and the essay writer were invited to the Mensa Foundation President’s reception at the Annual Gathering. The teacher received a plaque and cash donation, and the teacher’s school district received a plaque.
The award has been discontinued.
Heather Robinson has a unique, effective way of influencing young minds. Mensan Marisa Spann shared how Heather’s approach helped her son, Hunter, a member of Connecticut Western Mass Mensa.
In the essay nominating her teacher, Young Mensan Molly Maguire said she dreaded science until, in the fourth grade, she met her new teacher, Kristina Tons: “You can tell every day that this teacher really does love science and loves teaching fourth and fifth graders to love science too.”
Nominated by Mensan Paul McKee, Dr. Walters conducts research and has instructional approach that exemplify the Mensa Foundation’s mission to use intelligence to benefit humanity, and we’re honored to recognize him with the Distinguished Teacher Award.
Like music itself, music teacher Marcia Blackstone Maull’s impact resonates across time and space. Her students have become luminary musicians and educational influencers in Africa, Europe, Asia, and America.
This “beautiful woman [who] had a shell much tougher than my own,” says Jessica, saw potential and overlooked her flaws. “She helped make it possible for me to not only finish high school without being held back a grade but to graduate a full eight months early.”
"He was my 6th grade teacher but I like to think of him as the Superhero of Imagination." So began the letter by young Mensan Aiden D., who nominated Benjamin Rudolph for the 2017 Distinguished Teacher Award, which recognizes a teacher's positive influence on the education or life of a Mensa member.
Fourteen-year-old Young Mensan Patrick L's role model, and our Distinguished Teacher of the Year, is Tanya Bergantz, an educator and Mathematics Department Chair at the Whitfield School in St. Louis.
Andrea Mystrena, a gifted & talented teacher at Northern Burlington Regional Middle School in Columbus, N.J., is the Mensa Foundation's 2014 Distinguished Teacher Award winner.
John Otterstedt, a third-grade teacher at Hawes Elementary School in Ridgewood, N.J., is the Mensa Foundation's 2013 Distinguished Teacher Award winner.
Arthella Starke, a Special Education teacher at Sherwood High School in Sherwood, Ore., is the Mensa Foundation’s 2012 Distinguished Teacher.
Patrick Coffey of Wauwatosa, Wis., received the 2011 Distinguished Teacher Award after being nominated by his student, Melinda Mastel. He is the international relations teacher at Brookfield East High School.
Dearborn, Mich., elementary and charter school teacher Heather Jenkins received the 2010 Distinguished Teacher Award after being nominated by her student, Nicholas Eller.
Dr. Allan Meltzer, a political economy professor at Carnegie Mellon University, received the Mensa Foundation's Distinguished Teacher Award after being nominated by his former student, Bob Beatty.
Judy Scruggs, a Virginia elementary school teacher, was honored with the Mensa Foundation’s Distinguished Teacher Award in 2008.
Dr. Patrick Pauken, an associate professor in the School of Leadership and Policy Studies at Bowling Green State University, received the Mensa Foundation’s Distinguished Teacher Award in 2007.
Michelle Breuer-Vitt, a Latin teacher at Minnehaha Academy in Minneapolis, Minn., was honored with the Mensa Foundation’s Distinguished Teacher Award for 2006.
Debbie Phares, an elementary school teacher at Maple Grove Primary School in Battle Ground, Wash., was selected as the recipient of the 2005 Distinguished Teacher Award.
Kimberlee Campbell of the Harvard University Department of Romance Languages and Literature received the Mensa Foundation's Distinguished Teacher Award in 2004.
Brenda Bradshaw of Statesville (NC) Middle School received the Mensa Foundation's Distinguished Teacher Award in 2003.