At the end of each school year, Principal Holli Armstrong asks her fifth grade students for their "favorite memory" of the year. Consistently, the overwhelming majority of them bring up Mrs. Ruth Dorsey`s Science class. You see, Mrs. Dorsey lives by the old Chinese proverb posted in her classroom. "I hear it - I forget it ... I see it - I remember it ... I do it - I understand it." It is this "hands on" approach to teaching that brought home a 91 percent proficiency rating to the 2011 fifth grade students at Oakdale - the second best score of the state`s 875 elementary schools.
Ruth Dorsey was an at-home mother to her four children for more than 13 years. She began her teaching career at St. Mary of the Hills in Milton and joined the Dedham Public School system in 1996.
Loved by her students and admired by her peers, it was an easy choice for Principal Armstrong to "nominate" Mrs. Dorsey for a Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science (PAEMST) last Spring.
Hundreds of teachers across the state are nominated, and only a few make it to the "qualifying" round. Science teacher Ruth Dorsey did.
She spent the better part of her April vacation, completing what she told us was "the most grueling application process" she has ever been a part of. There were more than 40 pages of lessons, reflections, assessments, and responses to go along with a 45-minute video taped lesson.
The PAEMST Program and Award was established by the White House in 1983 and the President of the United States bestows 108 awards to teachers nationally each year. The board will choose the best Science and Math teacher of each state.
While on vacation with her family on Cape Cod last week, Mrs.Dorsey received an e-mail. She had been selected as one of three finalists to represent Massachusetts, and her application was forwarded to the national level. As a finalist, Dorsey will be honored at the State House in June 2013 - but in the meantime we will keep our fingers crossed and be thankful, that right here in Dedham, we have one of "the best of the best" teachers to call our very own.
Congratulations Mrs. Dorsey - keep up the good work!