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Rutland teacher receives prestigious honor - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Rutland teacher receives prestigious honor

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RUTLAND, Vt. -

For Rutland High School teacher Erica Wallstrom, science rocks!

"I don't know why you wouldn't be excited about science. It's like, the best, you're hands on, you get to do these amazing experiments," said Wallstrom.

Wallstrom has been living her dream teaching science for the past eight years. Now, she will be taking her love of the subject to to the next level. Wallstrom has been selected an Einstein fellow. There are just 12 nationwide out of 185 hopefuls.

"I was so excited. It's a dream come true," said Wallstrom.

The fellowship will take her to Washington, D.C., this fall, where she'll use her geoscience expertise to work with the National Science Foundations's Polar Program. Her 11-month fellowship will also mean a trip to Greenland.

Besides her smarts, Wallstrom's students say it's her enthusiasm that gets them excited about science.

"It's really nice to work with her, because she's really dedicated to everything and she's just really happy all the time," said student Margarette Reily.

"She treated the kids as they are equal, as her equal, rather than she's the superior," said student Allison Wolf.

For them, Wallstrom's award is bittersweet.

"I know she loves just being out in the field, so it was great for her, but also I'm sort of sad because I won't have the ability to see her for a full year," said student Anna Smiechowski.

School administrators are proud, too.

"Erica is, maybe an example of what a lot of people in the building are doing and I think it's really happening across the state as well, where people are really trying to rethink how they teach," said Rutland High School Principal Bill Olsen.

Although Wallstrom says she's extremely excited for her travels to D.C. and around the world, she's even more excited to bring back all she will learn to Rutland High School and incorporate it into her science curriculum.

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