We have heard nothing but “great choice” in the naming of Rick Schwentker as the Educator of the Year at Washington High School by the WINGS Foundation. He has retired now and that’s a loss to the school district.
More correctly it’s a loss for the students, and parents of students who want their children to have the best teaching possible. Schwentker, who has taught for more than 33 years, was praised for being an outstanding teacher of science and math. He was described as a teacher who demanded much from students but had patience and deep concern that they succeed. He challenged his students and kept in touch with many of them as they went on to college and advanced in their careers. Schwentker even heard from parents who thanked him for preparing their children so well for college.
He was active outside the classroom and chaired the Academic Boosters Club for many years. He has been a leader in stargazing sessions for students and adults in this area.
In an interview with The Missourian, Schwentker said teachers must continually challenge and push themselves. That’s excellent advice.
Principal Dr. Frank Wood said the lights in his classroom were on long after the final school bell was heard because he was so committed to helping students.
Schwentker is very deserving of the award. He has been a teacher who cares, a role model who challenged himself along with his students, and countless students will tell you he was a reason for their success in their careers.