Colusa County teacher awarded Educator of the Year

Feb 3, 2014 8:31 AM

Natalie Behr is no stranger to the north state. She grew up in the small community of Nord and graduated from Chico High. After getting her Masters degree from U.C. Santa Barbara, Behr decided to come back to the north state to teach a subject she's very passionate about, science.

"I grew up on a farm out in the country so I played in the dirt a lot with a lot of bugs and animals and things like that. So I've always loved science, being outside," she says.

Natalie is in her third year of teaching at Princeton High School. She recently received an "Educator of the Year" award for the northern section of the state from the California League of High Schools, and it's safe to say she knows her stuff. Princeton Jr./Sr. High School is 7th through 12th grade, meaning Behr has to come up with a curriculum for life science, physical science, biology, physics, anatomy, physiology and chemistry! On top of that, she's also the school cheerleading coach.

"My first year, I didn't really sleep. I didn't really eat. I didn't really have a social life. I kind of just did school all the time," says Behr.

Teaching at a small school allows Behr to give her students a lot of one on one attention, which students say makes a big difference.

Princeton 8th grader Claudia Hernandez says, "I feel like she really cares about her students and she's a young teacher, so she's really fun."

For Behr, teaching is all about making the light bulb go on for her students and getting them to enjoy science.

"There's nothing I love more than seeing a look of shock on a kid's face when they do an experiment, or when they discover something new or when they just think of something they've never thought of before. That's what I love about teaching science," she says.

Behr, along with 10 other teachers, will speak before a panel of judges at a conference in Sacramento on February 28th. The judges will then make their selection for "Educator of the Year" for the entire state.


Most Popular