Mobile, Ala. (WKRG) — There were almost a dozen nominations for Alabama School of Math and Science biology teacher Dr. Natalie Ortell, all from her students.  To hear them tell it, she makes learning often complicated information easy.

“Well I get to teach these incredible little humans and they challenge me every day by asking amazing questions and they’re super interested and ready to learn everything I have to offer,” said Ortell. “But then they also get to drive our learning experience which makes things really fun because it’s not just me standing up front lecturing for an hour.”

Her style of teaching is apparently well-received by students in classes that can sometimes be daunting.

“Last year I took her classical genetics class and I wasn’t really a big fan of biology,” said student Sophia Neno. “And at first I was really struggling in the class, but her classroom was just so welcoming that I felt like I was valuable and capable even though I was struggling.”

At ASMS,students are truly motivated to learn.  After all, they live here because they want to.

Ortell said, “I mean I think it helps in terms of they are peers in every aspect of their lives–they learn how to do like conflict management and they learn how to work together with all sorts of people they wouldn’t normally see every day all day long–I think that definitely helps in the classroom.”

Our congratulations to Dr. Natalie Ortell and the Alabama School of Math and Science for a job well done.