Distinguished Teacher Award winners

Marcia Blackstone Maull, 2019 Distinguished Teacher Award winner
2019: Marcia Blackstone Maull

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.

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Karyl Kubick Hanson, 2018 Distinguished Teacher Award winner
2018: Karyl Kubick Hanson

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.”

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Benjamin Rudolph, 2017 Distinguished Teacher Award winner
2017: Benjamin Rudolph

"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.

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Tanya Bergantz, 2016 Distinguished Teacher Award winner
2016: Tanya Bergantz

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.

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Andrea Mystrena, 2014 Distinguished Teacher Award winner
2014: Andrea Mystrena

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.

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John Otterstedt, 2013 Distinguished Teacher Award winner
2013: John Otterstedt

John Otterstedt, a third-grade teacher at Hawes Elementary School in Ridgewood, N.J., is the Mensa Foundation's 2013 Distinguished Teacher Award winner.

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Arthella Starke, 2012 Distinguished Teacher Award winner
2012: Arthella Starke

Arthella Starke, a Special Education teacher at Sherwood High School in Sherwood, Ore., is the Mensa Foundation’s 2012 Distinguished Teacher.

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Patrick Coffey, 2011 winner of the Distinguished Teacher Award
2011: Patrick Coffey

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.

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Heather Jenkins, 2010 winner of the Distinguished Teacher Award
2010: Heather Jenkins

Dearborn, Mich., elementary and charter school teacher Heather Jenkins received the 2010 Distinguished Teacher Award after being nominated by her student, Nicholas Eller.

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Dr. Allan Meltzer, 2009 winner of the Distinguished Teacher Award
2009: Allan Meltzer, Ph.D

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.

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Judy Scruggs, 2008 winner of the Distinguished Teacher Award
2008: Judy Scruggs

Judy Scruggs, a Virginia elementary school teacher, was honored with the Mensa Foundation’s Distinguished Teacher Award in 2008.

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Dr. Patrick Pauken, 2007 winner of the Distinguished Teacher Award
2007: Dr. Patrick Pauken

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.

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Michelle Breuer-Vitt, 2006 winner of the Distinguished Teacher Award
2006: Michelle Breuer-Vitt

Michelle Breuer-Vitt, a Latin teacher at Minnehaha Academy in Minneapolis, Minn., was honored with the Mensa Foundation’s Distinguished Teacher Award for 2006.

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Debbie Phares, 2005 winner of the Distinguished Teacher Award
2005: Debbie Phares

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.

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Kimberlee Campbell, 2004 winner of the Distinguished Teacher Award
2004: Kimberlee Campbell

Kimberlee Campbell of the Harvard University Department of Romance Languages and Literature received the Mensa Foundation's Distinguished Teacher Award in 2004.

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Brenda Bradshaw, 2003 winner of the Distinguished Teacher Award
2003: Brenda Bradshaw

Brenda Bradshaw of Statesville (NC) Middle School received the Mensa Foundation's Distinguished Teacher Award in 2003.

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