Although Caitlin Bartosh has been a geometry teacher at A.C. Jones High School in Beeville for four years, she has been teaching math for much longer. The University of Houston-Victoria alumna has spent years tutoring and teaching math, and now, she has earned the title of Teacher of the Year at her school.
Bartosh recently was nominated by her fellow teachers and is now a candidate for the District Teacher of the Year, which will be decided at the end of April.
“This all came out of nowhere. I didn’t think I was going to be picked at all,” Bartosh said. “The fact that one of my colleagues nominated me came as a nice surprise. It’s exciting, and I am grateful.”
Bartosh is a Schulenburg native and graduated in 2017 from UHV with a Bachelor of Arts in mathematical sciences. She teaches sophomore geometry and freshman Pre-AP geometry.
“It is always great to hear that UHV alumni are making a difference in their communities,” said Craig Goodman, interim dean of the UHV School of Arts & Sciences. “Teachers have faced so many challenges during the past year, and their contributions are so vital for the children in their classrooms and the communities they serve.”
Bartosh comes from a family tree of teachers. Her mother also is a math teacher. As a child, she would gather her stuffed animals and pretend to be a teacher. In middle and high school, she would help other students as a peer tutor. Her love of math is multifaceted, and she compares mathematical equations to a puzzle, in that once one part of the equation is solved, the rest falls into place.
“There’s a sense of accomplishment in figuring out these little puzzles,” she said. “And in math, there’s no right or wrong way. You can solve a problem in different ways and still get the same answer.”
During her time at UHV, Bartosh worked for the Student Success Center as a supplemental instructor and a math tutor. She also served as the president of the Math and Science Club her senior year at UHV. She tutored every math subject she took at UHV after she passed each course. Although she was able to continue excelling in math at UHV, Bartosh learned that confidence in her ability to solve problems without using a calculator also was important.
She saw how Jang Woo Park, an assistant professor of mathematics, would solve mathematical equations free-hand and without a calculator. It was Park who gave her guidance on how to properly study for math after not needing to study for the subject much in high school.
“Caitlin was one of the best students to have because she is eager and curious to learn,” Park said. “She worked with her classmates well and was even a good teacher as a tutor at UHV. All we ever heard was good things about her from the Student Success Center. She has a passion for teaching, and I am glad to hear she is doing well.”
In her classes, Bartosh strives to make math fun and easy to understand for her students. Her classes have two major projects a year, including a Christmas ornament project at the end of the fall semester and a three-dimensional-shaped mobile in the spring.
“Caitlin Bartosh is a fantastic teacher,” said Ben Barris, an assistant principal at A.C. Jones High School. “She challenges her students and sparks their interest. She coaches the UIL Mathematics, Calculator, and Number Sense teams and pushes her students to excel. We were honored to name her Teacher of the Year.”
Bartosh enjoys preparing high school students for college math and focuses on instilling confidence in her students by also teaching them how to solve math by hand so that they do not have to rely on a calculator.
“Ms. Bartosh is simply an amazing teacher and has become a student favorite in a very short period of time,” said Principal Ann Ewing. “Students appreciate her ability and willingness to model different ways to solve problems, and her enthusiastic encouragement as they master difficult concepts. Her work ethic is second to none as she is always the first to arrive on campus, and one of the last to leave. She has been one of the best hires I’ve made as a campus principal. A.C. Jones High School is blessed to have her on staff.”