clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Tanie Worthen, Castle Dale Elementary, Emery District

Tanie Worthen
Tanie Worthen

Tanie Worthen's sixth-graders tango.

They cha-cha, fox trot and rumba, too.

The teacher of 31 years started spicing up Castle Dale Elementary P.E. a couple years back after watching a ballroom dance movie. She picked up moves from the DVD, then took some workshops from a social dance teacher at the high school to create a curriculum.

"It's the most fun I've ever had teaching," said Worthen, Emery School District's Teacher of the Year. "It teaches social skills. It's amazing to me how much nicer the kids are to each

other ... that's been the best part."

The Emery County native is living her childhood dream of becoming a schoolteacher and works to keep her classes fresh. She currently is working on a math endorsement.

"She is ... always trying to find new ways and better ways to teach," said principal Ralph Worthen, also her brother. "She loves kids, and kids love her."

Students call her at home in the summer to ask if they get to dance again next year. They tell her they miss her when she has a substitute, because the stand-in never does the voices she does when she reads stories.

"It's never boring; it's never the same," Worthen said. "There's no place I would rather be."