West High's Jon Bach
West High School
"I had always believed that I wasn't great at math, and didn't have a lot of confidence in my math skills. I was drawn to the subject, but didn't feel strong in it and didn't believe in my own abilities until I enrolled in Mr. Bach's AP Calc I and II class. I believe we were his first group of West High students back in my senior year and very quickly, Mr. Bach's warm and welcoming nature put me at ease.
As time went on, I quickly realized how excellent of an educator Mr. Bach was--for the first time ever, I felt like I really actually loved math. I was surprised at how much I loved the subject and with his teaching style, I not only consistently earned A's, but my confidence in my own abilities grew.
I will never forget, how Mr. Bach volunteered his own personal time to group tutor his AP students before the AP exam. I fully believe that because of his extra time he put in, I scored the highest on that AP exam than I had for any of my others that I took that senior year and got full AP credit for both Calc 1 and 2.
I want you to know that if it weren't for Mr. Bach, I never would have had the confidence to pick my major in college--I went to the University of Iowa and enrolled my first year as a Biomedical Engineering student. I went on to receive both my undergrad and master's degrees within 5 years from the day I enrolled, and was required to take a heavy load of math courses--including graduate level Math courses.
I remember very clearly the confidence I felt after taking Mr. Bach's classes. It was a confidence I hadn't felt regarding that subject until I was lucky enough to have him as a teacher. I believe Mr. Bach deserves this award because true educators leave their students with more than just the subjects they teach--they leave them with a lifelong belief in themselves where none had existed before.
It's been a long time since I graduated from high school, and in all of my years of schooling that led to getting my Master's in Biomedical Engineering, I have never met a teacher who cared more about their students as Mr. Bach does about his."