Teacher of the Year Nomination – Rosalyn M. Wortham

by Jessica on May 20, 2016

Student/Friend, Lisa Jonsson nominated Rosalyn M. Wortham
of Los Angeles Adventist Academy

Teachers have the opportunity to make such an impact on a student’s life. How many people can say that they have a friendship with their high school literature teacher?  Even more surprising; how many people can say they have this friendship over 30 years later?   It is my honor and privilege to nominate

Mrs. Rosalyn M. Wortham, whom over 30 years ago, was my high school literature teacher and continues her 40 year teaching span. As a student in high school, I had to work hard to obtain good grades.  Mrs. Wortham (or Roslie as I now lovingly refer to her), never stopped believing in me or my abilities.  She often recounted the story of the  “Tortoise and the Hair”.  Roslie always said it wasn’t about who finished first more than it was about who finished the race. Her assignments were rigorous yet inspiring: a treasure hunt at the library, an indentured servant journal replete with daily entries and an antiquated look, interpreting Shakespeare, writing poetry, and reading my all time favorite, Agatha Christie. After high school, I went on to complete my graduate degree and mentioned Roslie in the dedication of my published thesis.  Roslie’s support played a large part in my achievements.  As a Marriage and Family Therapist today, I have a good understanding about what helps people to thrive in this world – a mentor and a cheerleader. Roslie definitely was that for me. Roslie has always availed herself to her students and continues teaching at LA Adventist Academy where she works with many underprivileged children.  There, she continues to provide assignments that remain interesting, precipitate creativity, and continue a quest for the love of learning.  Some of her students see her as a “tough, no-nonsense” teacher to be highly revered.  While she is all of those things, she is also an incredibly caring, dedicated, cheerleader for all of her students. Today, after over 40 years of teaching, she continues to make an impact on her student’s lives.

I continue my friendship with a woman who never gave up on her students and pushed the limits to make them better people. Together, we attend concerts, memorable celebrations, literary events, and even have time for a cup of tea to discuss “who did it” before the end of our mystery novels. I can’t think of anyone more deserving and appropriate than my high school literature teacher Rosalyn M. Wortham for Vroman’s Teacher of the Year. Nothing would give me greater pleasure than seeing her honored for all of the selfless work that she does.

I sign off with a poem, which I believe describes it perfectly:

From women’s eyes this doctrine I derive:

They sparkle still the right Promethean fire;

They are the books, the arts, the academes,

That show, contain, and nourish all the world.

William Shakespeare