Growing up as a military child, my daughter was exposed to a number of different learning styles: school in Germany, American schooling for Kindergarten, the Abecka program for the first grade, followed by the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) until the third grade. After I retired from the United States Air Force, my daughter had a difficult time adjusting to the American public school system. She finally started to find her way when we started at Bailey Bridge Middle School two years ago. The Summit Learning Math teachers and mentors at Bailey Bridge showed my daughter that learning can be fun and can prepare her for life outside of the classroom.
I want to take a moment to recognize the teachers of Bailey Bridge Middle School, including Mr. Motryncuzk and Mr. Etzold, during Teacher Appreciation Week. They both make Math a fun and exciting subject to learn, and are both wonderful mentors for my daughter. Even during this time of confusion and stress due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the teachers at Bailey Bridge have been extremely supportive.
Last school year, Mr. Motryncuzk was more than a great 6th grade Math teacher to my daughter. He was able to help her open up and feel more connected with this new learning environment. He was even able to connect with my daughter because they were both DoDEA Kaiserslautern students. He brought a ton of unique learning opportunities to Bailey Bridge, including the SeaPerch underwater robotics program and competition. This required their team to meet once a week after school for several months to get ready to compete. He uses learning strategies to help students remember mathematics formulas — for example, he taught students a song about mean, median, and mode so they could easily remember how to apply them. Thank you Mr. Motryncuzk for always giving my daughter words of encouragement to help her reach her goals.
This year, Mr. Etzold has been a superhero when it comes to 7th grade Math. He and my daughter quickly connected when they learned that they had both spent some time in Germany. He helped Timia meet her goals of finishing her projects early, which earned her a spot in honors 8th grade Math! He would set aside time on Wednesday’s during his 8th grade personalized learning time to answer questions from his 7th grade math students. He even found the time after school to attend basketball games and sponsor the school Chess Club. During this time of quarantine, he still continues to connect with his students to give extra help on focus areas when needed. Thank you Mr. Etzold for taking the time to help my daughter and her peers during this pandemic.
Thank you, Mr. Motryncuzk and Mr. Etzold, and happy Teacher Appreciation Week!
Sherrilyn Smith, Parent of a 7th Grade Student at Bailey Bridge Middle School in Midlothian, Virginia