By Jeremy Magnabosco
“Don’t be afraid to try crazy ideas. Just be sure to make a point with them.”
-- Marcia West ‘06
"I’ll never use math” is something you won’t be hearing from the students of Marcia West’s class at Lynnwood’s Brighton School. From attaching functional wings on constructed turkeys to creating working catapults, West teaches her students in unique and innovative ways. As a result, the middle school teacher was recently named “Teacher of the Year” by the Nobel Learning Community.
Prior to teaching, West spent twenty years working as a landscape artist and also served as a military officer with the Army National Guard, Corp of Engineers. Becoming a teacher had always been a dream of Marcia’s, and in 2005 her admission to the University of Washington Bothell made that possible.
West chose UW Bothell for several reasons. Among these was that the education program was innovative and provided its students with the skills and tools needed to become successful teachers.
UW Bothell faculty members Kathleen Martin and Jane VanGalen were attributed for helping shape her awardwinning educational approach. Professor Kathleen Martin focused on creative math teaching, something Marcia now incorporates into the curriculum for her own students. “Professor Jane VanGalen was simply amazing with research and applied technologies,” says West.
Marcia credits her fellow staff, parent support and the mentality of being a “middle school student herself” for receiving the Teacher of the Year award. To prospective educators Marcia encourages, “Don’t be afraid to try crazy ideas. Just be sure to make a point with them.”
BMarcia earned her teaching certificate from UW Bothell in elementary education with middle-school endorsements in both math and science.