Linda Ortman, St. Louis School junior high math teacher, was named the Batesville Area Chamber of Commerce Distinguished Educator Jan. 30.
She “has been a valued member of the St. Louis School faculty for 26 years. Her dedication to students is exemplary,” principal Chad Moeller noted while introducing the award winner. “She is knowledgeable, dedicated and willing to share her success to help other teachers.”
Arriving at school every morning at 6 a.m., “she uses this time to prepare for the day because when students arrive at 7:30 a.m., her time is devoted to them.You will find her teaching, helping students and answering questions the rest of the day. If a student needs extra attention, arrangements are made with parents to get the child to school early or for him/her to stay after school. It is not unusual for students to be in Mrs. Ortman’s room after school making up a missed test or getting tutored. Even with the early start to the day, she does not leave school until 5-6 p.m.
“Three years ago, when the Batesville Kiwanis (Club)began a community-tutoring program, Mrs. Ortman volunteered to be the coordinator for St. Louis School. The program is set up to have Kiwanian tutoring every Tuesday after school until 4 p.m. So every Tuesday ... she has been monitoring this activity. If this was all that was involved, it would still be impressive, but it does not even scratch the surface. There is a great deal of organization needed to identify the children most in need, get parent permission and then pair the tutor and child for the best possible match. Then, on a weekly basis, Mrs. Ortman gathers materials from other teachers to give to the tutors to work on. This is quite a task considering that we have 18 students that have individual needs, thus requiring individual materials. In addition, she makes last-minute adjustments for students that are at home sick and tutors that call in to cancel.”