2013 Loeb Prize Awarded for Teaching Excellence

Five Local Teachers Recognized For Excellence In Science and Mathematics Education

Joseph Bartin, 2013 winner of the Loeb Prize poses with Carol B. Loeb
Joseph Bartin, 2013 Loeb Prize Winner

ST. LOUIS – Joseph Bartin, physics and astronomy teacher at Kirkwood High School, says he became a teacher 15 years ago because he wanted to do work that made a difference.  “I remain a teacher because I am inspired by the work, wonder and curiosity of the students with whom I spend my time.” 

That viewpoint is one of many reasons why Bartin won the 2013 Saint Louis Science Center and Carol B. and Jerome T. Loeb Prize for Excellence in Teaching Science & Mathematics. Bartin was selected from a field of five finalists and presented his award at an awards ceremony at the Saint Louis Science Center.

2013 Loeb Prize Winners
Loeb Prize Winners honored in 2013. Left: Carol Valenta, Chief Scientific Officer; Kristine Becker, Finalist; Karen Torretta, Finalist; Susan Doering, Runner-up; Erin King, Finalist; Joseph Bartin, Winner; Carol B. Loeb, Loeb Prize Donor

Susan Doering of St. Francis of Assisi School in Oakville was honored with a second place award. The other three finalists were Kristine Becker of Halls Ferry Elementary School, Erin King of McCluer North High School, and Karen Torretta of Oakville High School.  All five finalists received cash awards and were cheered on by their students at today’s ceremony.  As the winner, Bartin also received a complimentary trip to one of the Science Center’s 2013 Science Adventure Travel destinations.

The Loeb Prize, which rewards teachers who significantly enhance their students' performances in the areas of science and mathematics, was established in 1995 and endowed in 2002 by a generous gift from Carol B. and Jerome T. Loeb. It is one of the many ways in which the Loeb family and the Science Center demonstrate their commitment to advance public appreciation for teachers' efforts.

“Each year we interview so many exceptionally talented teachers and it is very difficult to choose only five finalists,” said Mrs. Loeb. ”I am grateful to have the opportunity to recognize these teachers for the work they do to transform students into leaders of tomorrow.”

The late Mr. Loeb worked for The May Department Stores Company, retiring as chairman of the board. He was chairman of the Science Center's Board of Commissioners and a member of the Board of Trustees. Mrs. Loeb, a math teacher for 50 years, currently serves on the Science Center's Board of Trustees.

“The Loeb Prize is a very significant way to honor some of the outstanding teachers in the region,” said Carol Valenta, Chief Scientific Officer for the Science Center. “Recognition of these teachers will go a long way in ensuring teachers are held in high regard in the St. Louis community.”

The teacher-student relationship is important to Bartin. Last summer, many of his students lost a close friend under tragic circumstances, so Bartin began the school year quietly, “letting them know that, before curriculum and class activities, I was there to help and support them.”  Bartin said he forged relationships with his students stronger than ever.  “I feel this year like we are sharing an experience, not simply interacting around a curriculum.”

The 2013 finalists for the Loeb Prize are:

  • Winner: Joseph Bartin, Kirkwood High School
  • Second Place: Susan Doering, St. Francis of Assisi School
  • Finalist: Kristine Becker, Halls Ferry Elementary School
  • Finalist: Erin King, McCluer North High School
  • Finalist: Karen Torretta, Oakville High School

View the award ceremony program.

Written by Margie, Communications

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