Arthella Starke, 2012 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.

“Special education is very near and dear to Mensans, so being able to award Ms. Starke is a true honor,” said Dave Remine, President of the Mensa Foundation. “The dedication she shows her students and their families is something not only educators, but, we as people, should learn from.”

Ms. Starke was nominated for the Distinguished Teacher Award by Amy Vincent. “I have heard that when raising a child there is no such thing as quality time, there is just time. No one in our public school district was giving my son the time he deserved,” Ms. Vincent said.  “Then, as he entered high school, we met Arthella. Everything changed. She created time to advocate for my son and myself to optimize his educational experience. She gave my son the time no one else had and she gave me hope.”

Ms. Starke is a Special Education teacher who truly understands the importance of her role in today’s society. “I was determined to make things better. School is supposed to be a good place, and parents aren’t supposed to dread meeting teachers,” she said.

The Mensa Foundation’s Distinguished Teacher Award recognizes a teacher, professor, or instructor at any educational level who’s had an especially positive influence on the education or life of a Mensa member. The educators can impact the Mensa members directly or as a result of their influence on the education of a family member. The teacher selected is presented with a plaque and a cash award from the Mensa Education & Research Foundation.