Mary Beth Steven
Mary Beth Steven has recently retired after 26 years of teaching grade 5 at the Cambridge School District in Cambridge, Wisconsin. In her career she has received honors such as the Excellent Educator Award given by the Wisconsin Center for Talented and Gifted Youth, the Environmental Protector Award given by the Rock River Coalition, being featured in a National Geographic Geostory on citizen scientists, and most recently, being chosen as a Herb Kohl fellow based on her merits as an educator. For the majority of her career she has continuously altered the way she taught spelling, waiting to hit upon something that would actually be worthwhile. Within a month of spotting Structured Word Inquiry on another teacher’s blog, she began using it with her students. In the 8 1/2 years since, she has been a continuous learner, taking online classes with Real Spelling and with Pete Bowers at Wordworks. She has documented much of her classroom work with students in her blog, “Mrs. Steven’s Classroom Blog”. Her students have welcomed the intrigue, the fascinating stories, and the unexpected surprises, but most of all they have embraced an understanding that was never offered to them before.