Teaching students at multiple levels of ability is no easy task, but it's one that science teacher Joan Baltezore handles with great success. She challenges gifted students to stretch beyond their comfort zone, team-teaches developmental students to ensure they are learning the basics, and motivates all of her students to meet her high standards of excellence. Ms. Baltezore played an instrumental role in developing new courses at West Fargo High School, including microbiology and genetics, and the unique experiments performed in these classes have generated positive feedback not only from students, but from local medical professionals as well. Chair of the science department and chair of the school's North Central Association (NCA) accreditation process, Ms. Baltezore is a teacher leader who motivates her colleagues to become better educators. She is an expert in curriculum analysis, and is well-versed in district and state standards, as well as the skills and knowledge needed for success after high school. Ms. Baltezore is paving the way for the next generation of outstanding educators, committing much of her time to a program that helps student teachers develop hands-on projects to be implemented in the classroom. With all this, she still finds time to serve as co-advisor of the school's Science Olympiad team. If teaching were an Olympic event, Joan Baltezore would undoubtedly be a gold medal contender.