A social studies teacher for 27 years, Cathy Ahrens has been a staple of the social studies department at Bettendorf High School since 1991. In fact, her current room, C362, was her first classroom.
Ahrens teaches American History and AP American Government. She didn’t originally teach AP American Government, in fact, she “hated the idea of it.” Despite her initial disdain, it quickly became her favorite class to teach.
“Once I learned about it, I became fascinated by the government and how it’s constantly in flux. Politics has the potential to be cool and great, although this year has been discouraging. I know that teaching young people is the way to help turn it around,” Ahrens said.
Her passion for the job and teaching ability is greatly noted by many students around the school.
“You can tell that Mrs. Ahrens loves her job. She makes every class a captivating learning experience through being genuinely interested in what she teaches,” student Minori Peters said.
Her teaching ability is not solely noticed by her students, the facts back it up. Across the world, 13.3 percent of students receive a 5 on the AP American Government exam. In Ahren’s classroom, 45.5 percent of students receive a 5 on the AP Government exam.
“Mrs. Ahrens had a lot of review sessions in pride, before, and after school leading up to the exam. She really highlighted the important points that would be on the exam,” student Jonathan Berg said.
Ahrens’ favorite part about the job is the relationships that she creates with students.
“It’s the part that changes every year no matter what. There’s always the great kids and fun kids, yet they change, the personality and the faces, every year,” Ahrens said.
If she weren’t teaching, Ahrens said that she would be working for a charity or another sort of “do good” organization, a job where she could continue to make the world a better place.
AP American Government exam global results and Bettendorf results.