In his 10th year teaching at Tesoro High School, physics teacher Nathaniel Ritscher has been named Teacher of the Year. Guiding students through the complex concepts of mechanical physics, we are honored to recognize Mr. Ritscher for all that he has done for Tesoro.
“I very much appreciate the recognition from other staff members, especially knowing how many good candidates we have on campus,” said Ritscher. Other staff members vote on Teacher of the Year, first nominating candidates, then voting on the finalists. Having been a nominee before, “I’ve always been happy just to be in the discussion,” said Ritscher.
In his own words, “What do you do above and beyond to add to the campus?” Over the years, Ritscher has grown the physics program to embody both structure and creativity. Teaching regular physics, honors physics, and AP Physics C: Mechanics, he strives to have “high standards and to make [his] class fair and accessible to students.” Before each unit exam it would not be a surprise to find Ritscher in his class from 7:00-8:30 P.M. doing a review session for his two sections of AP. Or at the end of the fall semester, he will hold Saturday construction days for the mandatory semester-end projectile launcher project. While he holds his classes to high standards, Ritscher’s dedication in and out of the classroom echoed through the halls of Tesoro.
Stepping into a needed role of discipline in the 2022-2023 school year, he gained respect from administrators and built connections with other teachers. An avid supporter of the Boys Basketball Program, Ritscher used to coach but now focuses his support as a fan from the sidelines.
“From a student’s perspective, the fact that I don’t just say no, is a positive thing,” says Ritscher. A popular teacher amongst the students, Ritscher has an open mindset about projects, allowing students to fully pursue their interests. With entertaining labs throughout the year, like a potato launching lab, Ritscher encourages students to think outside of the box and to experiment with different aspects of physics. To him, his class is about learning that “you knew you could dig deep and figure out a way to do it.”
Ritscher was a teacher at Garden Grove High School and Dana Hills High School before coming to Tesoro. He was voted Teacher of the Year by students multiple times at Dana Hills High School. At Tesoro, Ritscher’s contributions to the campus and school culture are greatly appreciated and felt by all of the students that have gone through Tesoro.