Social Studies Teacher and Chairperson
Blue Valley High School
USD 229, Blue Valley
"Every person on the face of the earth has value; we may all be different in some way, but in the grand scheme of things, every single living person has some value. That's what brought me to the social studies. . . Everyone's opinion is valuable in my classroom, not just mine. I practice tolerance in my classroom because by understanding what intolerance is in life, perhaps students' levels of tolerance will improve. This, in turn, may affect the levels of society's intolerance. It is my mission to respect the individuality of each student. There is an environment in my classroom that allows students to be themselves, give their opinions about various topics, and speak their minds without worrying about other students or the teacher putting them down. The real value of teaching comes when I allow students to say what they think and then expound upon those ideas; these are the true teachable moments that create unbounding enthusiasm in the classroom and genuine learning for each student."
Honor and Awards
Outstanding Economics Educator for the State of Missouri
American Memories Library of Congress Fellow
Published on Library of Congress Website - American Memory Fellows Program
Received Technology Grant - PICTT Project Eisenhower Presidential Library
Published - PICTT Project - Eisenhower Presidential Museum and Library
Selected to school Academic Team to Monitor progress during the development of learning communities at Blue Valley High School
Selected to implement program for at-risk students at the Metropolitan Community College, Kansas City, Missouri
Selected to write and implement the curricular text for the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City
Selected as State President for Kansas Council for the Social Studies
Selected as a Presenter for the Economic Literacy Curriculum for Educators at
Missouri State Convention
Selected as a Presenter at Kansas Council for the Socials Studies State Conventions
(Economic Literacy, Integration of Technology in Social Sciences, Methodology)
Selected twice for Steering Committee for the Rocky Mountains/Great Plains Regional
Conference (a conference for over 1,000 participants across 10 states)
Selected as Mentor for the Blue Valley Mentorship Program for New to the
What People Say
A former student said this in a letter to Mrs. Bertolone, "I consider myself fortunate to have had you for American Government and Economics. Your enthusiasm for the material is contagious, which saved me on those long Fridays when it was all I could do to keep my eyes open. You are a caring person, and it really shows in your interactions with other students. The mob of people around you constantly asking favors should be proof enough of that. Considering the classes you had, that was a real feat at times. Thanks for your friendliness, your patience, and all your hard work."
A recent graduate of Blue Valley High School said, "I think teachers are not fully aware of the impact they have on a student's life. One bad teacher can turn someone off from a subject forever, but one great teacher can keep him or her enthralled with the constant quest for knowledge. A great teacher challenges students and brings enthusiasm into the classroom. His or her passion for teaching creates a student's passion for learning. And the intellectual guidance and support a great teacher provides turns into a comradery and friendship with students. Mrs. Bertolone is a great teacher. She is a great teacher not only for her skills inside the classroom, but also for her support outside. She is simultaneously an educator and a mentor, a teacher and a friend. Her challenging curriculum combined with a love for her students builds confidence and foster success outside of the high school arena. She cannot be fully aware of the impact she has had on my life. She has prepared me well for my continuing quest for knowledge."
A current student said, "Perhaps it was the skirt she wore that had Alex de Toqueville staring back at the class. Maybe it was the overwhelming enthusiasm with which she approached a hypothetical project regarding what would happen if historical figures visited America today and evaluated our system of government. It very well may have even been the black robe she donned while teaching us about 'the Supremes' on the nation's highest court. Whatever it was, something told me from the beginning that Mrs. Bertolone was a teacher who not only cared deeply about her job and brought enthusiasm to the subjects she taught, but who also worked to ensure that the very same enthusiasm translated into the work of her students.