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Golden Apple Moments

Fostering 6th Graders’ Natural Curiosity is a Big Win for Longview Science Teacher Sarah Wirtz

Congratulations to Sarah Wirtz on being recognized as one of the seven recipients of the 2019 Golden Apple Moments for her outstanding achievements in education in Washington State.

May 27, 2019

Working summers at the Mount St. Helens Visitor Center in college was just the beginning of a love affair with the physical sciences for Sarah Wirtz. People’s curiosity brought out the teacher in Wirtz, a Music major at the time. She quickly changed to Geology and the rest is herstory. Teaching integrated science at Cascade Middle School in Longview, Washington, Wirtz says that middle schoolers are naturally curious and ask lots of questions. This makes her job that much easier.

"One of the keys to teaching middle school is that students need to be able to explore and figure out answers to the questions themselves by working with materials and to really discover for themselves how things work, why they work," she explains.

Principal Chris Rugg says Wirtz has excellent classroom management and this allows her to run many engaging classroom activities. "She even greets each student by name as they enter her door," he says.

Using Newton’s Law of Gravity, Sarah Wirtz’s 6th graders could surely explain how this Golden Apple landed in her hands!



PEMCO Insurance is a proud sponsor of Golden Apple Moments, which recognizes those who have made Washington schools better places for learning

Kathy Tuohey

Veteran producer Kathy Tuohey has been working in broadcast television for over 25 years. From daily segments to documentaries, her expertise includes arts programming, human interest stories and education specials. She is managing producer of the Golden Apple Awards, produces the Pathways to Excellence education series, and is a contributor to IN Close.  This Northwest native’s natural curiosity about the people and places of our region keeps her on the lookout for the next great story.

More stories by Kathy Tuohey

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