Tanya Bergantz, 2016 Distinguished Teacher Award winner

In an essay titled, "Teacher of the Year? Teacher of the Century," Young Mensan Patrick L. wrote to us, "It's rare to find an educator who is not only remarkable at their job, but is also an incredible role model and companion. My mathematics teacher is one of those rare occurrences."

Fourteen-year-old Patrick'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. And like many exceptional teachers, Bergantz often employs humor and competition to break the monotony of rote memorization.

"Our class always got so competitive with these kinds of games and she channeled that into her teaching style to help us learn subjects thoroughly," Patrick wrote. “She introduced us to the wonderful world of geometry, with gobs of jokes and tips for remembering certain vocabulary. She's a great role model who has shaped my life for the better."