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Helmut Schmidt, Published March 22 2011

North's Bertsch named Fargo School District's Teacher of the Year

FARGO - Michelle Bertsch, a math teacher at North High School, has been named the Fargo School District’s Teacher of the Year.

Bertsch accepted the honor this afternoon after being ushered in to the school’s commons as hundreds of students chanted “We want Bertsch! We want Bertsch!” and a band played “Hey, Baby!”

Bertsch wiped tears from her eyes as she stood on a temporary platform set up for the occasion and took in the spectacle.

“I, honestly, when I heard my name chanted out there, I thought it was for water polo,” said Bertsch, who joked that she thought the students wanted to see her in her swimsuit.

“This is crazy, wild, nutso!” she said, later telling the students, “I teach because of you … and what you represent and stand for.”

Principal Andy Dahlen, who acted as emcee for the event, said the pre-calculus and advanced math teacher puts in a lot of hours to prepare to teach her classes.

“Michelle Bertsch has worked so hard for her students. She cares for her kids,” he said.

Her husband, Todd Bertsch, the principal of South High School, and their daughters, Carly, 16, and Heidi, 12, joined her at the ceremony.