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Nataliya Dorweiler Named Woodbury Teacher of the Year

nataliya dorweiler
  • 2023-24

Nataliya Dorweiler, an English language (EL) teacher at Lake Middle School, was named Woodbury Chamber of Commerce’s 2023 Educator of the Year. 

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Nataliya Dorweiler, an English language (EL) teacher at Lake Middle School, was named Woodbury Chamber of Commerce’s 2023 Educator of the Year. 

Ms. Dorweiler grew up in Ukraine and says she always knew she wanted to be a teacher. 

“Everyone around me would often say “she will be a teacher someday,’” Dorweiler said. ” I can remember from a young age lining up my dolls and stuffed animals and teaching them or reading to them.”

nataliya dorweiler

Dorweiler began her teaching career as an elementary school teacher and later became a teacher of Ukrainian Language and Literature before immigrating to the United States. Following her move to the States, Dorweiler had a journey of ups and downs that eventually led her back to teaching. 

“My journey of becoming a teacher in the United States was not easy. I had to put in double work hours and experience many pitfalls. Somehow though, I was surrounded by people who were supporting me, helping me, giving me advice and pushing me to limits I didn’t know I could overcome. I am so thankful.” Dorweiler said. 

Dorweiler worked for several years as a substitute teacher in Western Wisconsin before she was presented with the opportunity to become an EL teacher. Having been an English language learner herself Dorweiler was excited at the prospect of helping EL students.

“When I worked with those students I knew immediately that was my place, this is where I was supposed to be,” Dorweiler said. 

Her lived experiences positively and effectively influence her work with her students and their families. She is a strong advocate for those she works with and goes above and beyond in every way for her students who are new to the country.

Ms. Dorweiler is an incredible wealth of knowledge for both families new to our country as well as staff who have lived here their entire lives. She offers professional development opportunities to her colleagues by sharing her own experiences of immigrating to the United States. This helps her colleagues better understand what some of their EL students might be experiencing as well and celebrate the uniqueness of each student, their family and their culture. 

Ms. Dorweiler was honored by the Woodbury Chamber of Commerce on Friday, Jan. 19 at their annual Community Awards Gala. Congratulations Nataliya!

  • Lake Middle School
  • SoWashCo Schools