O’Hara teacher nationally lauded
O’Hara teacher nationally lauded
EUGENE — A Catholic school teacher here has been chosen as a 2009 Distinguished Teacher of the Year for outstanding and innovative educational techniques.

Maryanne Obersinner, a sixth-grade teacher at O’Hara Catholic School, is one of 12 teachers picked for the designation by the National Catholic Educational Association.

“[Obersinner] is truly a distinguished teacher who exemplifies Catholic teaching at its very best,” said O’Hara Principal Dianne Bert. “Maryanne is the most loving, dedicated teacher who gives quality time to every one of her students, always patiently guiding them with the utmost love.”

Obersinner is known in her teaching community for creativity in building cross-curricular educational programs, such as the Living Saints Project, which has received national recognition.

Developed 10 years ago, the project incorporates religion, social studies, art, English and technology. After studying saints, students dress as their chosen historical figures and speak in the first person as they tell their stories. The annual event draws visitors from other Catholic schools, home-school students, media and parishioners from around the community.

The trade publication, Today’s Catholic Teacher, presented O’Hara with the Innovations in Education Award at the 2008 NCEA annual conference in Indianapolis.

Nearly 350 students since 1998 have studied religion, English and social studies under Obersinner’s tutelage.

“She is a devoted teacher who puts her heart and soul into her vocation with a deep love for what she does,” Bert said.

Obersinner received the award at a recent banquet in Anaheim, Calif. The school staff, parents and students (current and past) recognized her during a reception April 22 at the school.

The annual NCEA award was established in 1981 to honor Sister Miriam Joseph Farrell, a nationally prominent educator who was appointed to the Title II Advisory Commission by then-President Lyndon Johnson.

One teacher is chosen for each of 12 geographic regions. Obersinner took the prize for the Northwestern states.