Northwest Horizons

Mr. Wertz does it all: Northwest teacher balances the world

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Expert, teacher, historian, tour guide; At Northwest, it’s unusual to find a person that fulfills all of these roles to their own brilliance.

However, the task of bringing them all together into one career and mission is something else.

English teacher Alex Wertz teaches AP Literature and Composition and CP English 12. Every year, he prepares hundreds of students for an AP exam, and streamlines the study of English with books, poetry, and writing assignments.

These components seem fundamental for an English teacher; however, once a year, Wertz leads a class of students to the United Kingdom over Spring break, where his love of English history and his worldly character meet.

“I started doing tours in the 2013-2014 school year.” English teacher Alex Wertz said. “My friend, who’s a French teacher at another school, had always done it, and I thought it would be a fun experience to share with my own students.”

Through the company EF Educational Tours, Wertz gives his knowledge of the history and culture of Britain and Ireland, but engages his students on his trips.

“I think [Mr. Wertz] genuinely cares that we learn not just the curriculum, but about the world in general,” senior Blake Weaver said. “You could tell he knew a lot, because we went to London tower, and he started rattling off facts.

Mr. Wertz’ love of English history is not something that he acquired as an adult, but earlier on in his life.

“I was really big into history in high school, and I took a lot of history electives and advanced history classes,” Wertz said. “Then, in college, I continued to take a lot of history classes.”

Though he teaches, and engages students on a high school level, the trips that he takes with students from Northwest bring the educational aspect of Mr. Wertz to a much more worldly and experienced view outside of North Carolina.

“I got to see a whole new side of him, because I never had Mr. Wertz as a teacher,” senior Alexandra Stanley said. “Whenever I used to see him in the hall, I thought he was a reserved teacher, but he is super cool, and was very engaged with us.”

In addition to leading students to foreign countries on educational adventures, Mr. Wertz is also the School Based Leadership Team chair, helping to direct and organize events and planning at Northwest

“I think that being the chair of school leadership, it allows me to see the inner workings of the school and how individual school decisions affect everybody.” Wertz said. ‘It also gives me the opportunity to work with the parents and understand the parent and student perspective, especially being the representative for the PTSO for teachers.”

Hoping not to be a “jack of all trades and a master of none”, as the saying goes; Mr. Wertz seems to be a master of everything he puts his mind to.

Whether it be allowing for students to travel in a school setting, or prepping seniors for AP exams, the impact that Mr. Wertz has on his students is, in the words of his students, incredible.

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Mr. Wertz does it all: Northwest teacher balances the world