Matt Finn, an English teacher and head varsity football coach at Osage High School, and Alicia Neutz, a Spanish teacher at Lakeville North High School in Minnesota, will be honored during the ceremony beginning at 1:30 p.m. at the Hoover Fieldhouse & Track in the Wartburg-Waverly Sports & Wellness Center.
Members of Wartburg’s Class of 2017 nominated high school teachers who significantly influenced their education. The teachers will receive $500 each, and a $500 scholarship will be available to a rising senior who attends Wartburg from the recipient’s high school.
Riley Cole, a communication arts major from Manchester, said Finn helped her realize that she was “good enough to accomplish greatness in this world.”
“He made the subject matter engaging and exciting because he taught each class with passion,” she wrote. “He sparked my personal imagination through a creative writing course and engaged students in better understanding the materials through class discussions and peer editing.”
Rachelle Markowitz, a business administration major from Lakeville, Minn., said Neutz “valued openness and honesty and got those things in return.”
“She challenges herself every day to aspire to be even better, and because of this, is a true role model,” Markowitz wrote in her nomination. “Her innovation and unique teaching styles changed my perspective on learning a language. Without her, I would not have continued studying Spanish, and for that I will forever be grateful.”
Finn, who previously taught at West Delaware and Vinton-Shellsburg high schools, also serves the Osage district as a strategist coach for teacher leadership and is a technology committee member. A program instructor for the Iowa BIG North Program, a project-based learning initiative, Finn also is a certified STEM Innovator through the Jacobson Institute for Youth Entrepreneurship at the University of Iowa.
Neutz is the adviser for Spanish Club and Panther Prep, an honors organization. She also coached dance teams for 11 years.