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Tony Rainsberger Receives The Oakwood Schools Foundation’s Third Annual Parker Love of Teaching Award

Surrounded by enthusiastic students, fellow faculty and recent alumni, Tony Rainsberger received The Oakwood Schools Foundation’s third annual Parker Love of Teaching and Lifelong Learning Award on Tuesday, May 21. Rainsberger, a 13-year veteran of Oakwood City Schools, heads up the District’s award-winning engineering curriculum which now offers three different high school courses to 115 students and has gained local, state and national recognition.

Since 2010, Oakwood High School has added one new engineering course every academic year. Current offerings include Intro to Engineering Design, Principles of Engineering, and Biotechnical Engineering; new for the 2013-2014 academic year will be Civil and Architectural Engineering. Mr. Rainsberger spends his summers learning the material, developing the curriculum and sourcing equipment. The rapid growth of Oakwood’s engineering program was made possible by a $100,000 grant to The Oakwood Schools Foundation from The Wayne and Gladys Valley Foundation in memory of Sue Worth in 2010.

Jeanne Keffer, Bill Sneeder and Chris Sneeder (OHS ’12) were among those who nominated or wrote letters of support for Mr. Rainsberger. They wrote that “…the best teachers are those who enliven the classroom and breathe life into the subject material. They challenge you to think in new ways and to participate enthusiastically in the learning collaboration. In fact, it is their enthusiasm that first grabs you. They expect you to make an effort, to make mistakes, and most of all to make more of yourself through your time together. Oakwood High School is fortunate to have such an inspiring teacher in Mr. Tony Rainsberger. He is dedicated to his students and he empowers them to succeed.”

In addition to teaching, Mr. Rainsberger is an advisor to the OHS Energy Team, The Rocket Team, and the Femineers. Ellie Hong, an Oakwood High School senior who plans to study engineering at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Terre Haute, IN, credits Mr. Rainsberger for inspiring her to pursue this career path. "Mr. Rainsberger makes all the engineering courses an amazing experience. He helps develop skills that will be used both later in school and in the workplace. We, the students, are extremely privileged to have him as a teacher!" says Ellie.

“Tony Rainsberger embodies all that the Parker Award stands for,” said Julie Halpern, Director of The Oakwood Schools Foundation. “As one of Mr. Rainsberger’s former student told us, ‘not only does he display great knowledge in the subjects that he teaches, but he always aims to achieve and learn more. His life lessons are some of the best and really help his students understand the real world.’”