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Distinguished Teacher Award Winner Honored By The Mensa Education & Research Foundation

  • Nov 15, 2013

Arlington, Texas, November 15th 2013 — The Mensa Education & Research Foundation has named John Otterstedt of Ridgewood, N.J., the recipient of the 2013 Distinguished Teacher Award. He is a third-grade teacher at Hawes Elementary in Ridgewood, N.J. Nominated by a fellow teacher, Michael C. Feeney.

Otterstedt was described as “a dedicated and zealous educator who demanded — and got — the very best from his students.”  Otterstedt’s approach is anything but run-of-the-mill. He's known for subtly “tricking” his most-reluctant third-grade students into better expressing themselves through associative writing prompts, and he's even videotaped lessons for a student unable to attend classes due to health issues. Students who struggle in his class are given “immediate and extensive attention,” and communication between this teacher and parents is paramount. “Mr. Otterstedt’s commitment and dedication to his students is an example of what makes him a great teacher. We are honored to present him the Distinguished Teacher Award,” said Mensa Foundation President Dave Remine.

The Mensa Distinguished Teacher Award recognizes a teacher, professor or instructor at any educational level who has had an especially positive influence on the education or life of a Mensa member. To find out more about the Mensa Foundation Awards, visit

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The Mensa Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization focused on intelligence and giftedness in the community at large. It's mission supports two of the three stated purposes shared by all Mensa organizations, to identify and foster intelligence for the benefit of humanity and to encourage research into the nature, characteristics, and uses of intelligence. The Mensa Foundation pursues these goals, in partnership with American Mensa and/or Mensa International where appropriate, with resources donated by Mensans and non-Mensans alike and aspire to use the intelligence of Mensans and non-Mensans to make the world a better place. For more information about the Mensa Foundation, visit or call (817) 607-5577.