May 20, 2021
Fort Couch teacher named to All-Star line-up
Kate Ruth, a reading specialist at Fort Couch Middle School, was recently selected as a 2021 All-Star Teacher by the Pittsburgh Pirates. She is one of 18 teachers selected for this honor.
Nominated for the recognition by the Fort Couch Middle School administrators, Joe DeMar and Erin Peterson, Mrs. Ruth was recognized for her caring and positive nature, content knowledge, teaching skills, energetic personality and unwavering commitment to her students and their learning.
“Mrs. Ruth is a dynamic teacher with exceptional ELA skills and an energetic personality who cares greatly for our kids and her colleagues,” Mr. DeMar, Fort Couch Middle School principal, said. “She is committed to providing all students with a positive learning experience. Her empathy really shines through as she helps students reach their fullest potential.”
The All-Star Teachers Program recognizes area educators who are making a significant difference in the lives of students across the region by providing an inclusive learning environment, engaging instruction and curriculum, encouraging lifelong learning, and inspiring a passion for education.
“I am humbled by and appreciative of this recognition from the Pirates and the Grable Foundation,” Mrs. Ruth said. “I am appreciative each day that I get to do a job that I love, and this was a fantastic surprise at the end of a long year.”
For Mrs. Ruth, teaching at the middle school level is especially rewarding as students make the transition from the elementary level to emerging high school students.
“As a middle school teacher, I value the opportunity to help kids appreciate their strengths and to learn how to manage their academic needs,” Mrs. Ruth said. “I also love the energy in middle school; it's such a down to earth environment, in which we learn and laugh together.”
Teaching and learning during a pandemic created new and unanticipated challenges for both teachers and students.
“I hope students recognize that they grew as learners and people, in spite of the challenges this year provided,” Mrs. Ruth said. “I hope my colleagues feel proud of their ability to help our students learn and grow in such an adverse time!”
Throughout the month of March, teachers were nominated through Pirates.com for a chance to be named an All-Star Teacher. In addition to a $1,000 classroom grant, each All-Star teacher receives a $100 gift card for personal use, a certificate to display in their classroom, a personalized Pirates jersey and game tickets.
“So many teachers deserve this award; I am lucky to be a recipient,” Mrs. Ruth said. “A big thank you to my principals, Joe Demar and Erin Peterson, for nominating me. They are fantastic leaders of our Fort Couch Family. Thank you, too, to the many incredible students I've taught; I learn as much from my students as I hope they learn from me.”
The All-Star Teacher recognition program is sponsored by the Pittsburgh Pirates, Pirates Charities, PNC and The Grable Foundation, along with support from the Allegheny Intermediate Unit, Intermediate Unit One and Kidsburgh. A committee comprised of members of the contributing organizations chose the 18 winning teachers from nearly 600 nominees.
Six winners were selected from each of three categories that included PreK/Elementary, Middle School and High School. Teachers in Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Greene, Washington and Westmoreland counties in Pennsylvania and Brooke, Hancock, Ohio and Marshall counties in West Virginia were eligible to be nominated.
Mrs. Ruth is a graduate of Penn State University and Simmons College. Prior to joining the Upper St. Clair faculty in 2013, she worked as a reading specialist in downtown Pittsburgh for two years. She also taught middle and high school in the Boston area for seven years.
Last spring, Lauren Bogus, a second-grade teacher at Streams Elementary, was selected as a 2020 All-Star Teacher.