Educator of the week

Ami Motsenbocker 
James Martin High School

Engineering Internship Coordinator
Sports and Entertainment Internship Coordinator
Marketing Coordinator

Favorite Teaching Subject: Work-based learning classes such as Engineering Internships and Sports & Entertainment Internships.

Continuing on the legacy of educators in her family, Ms. Motsenbocker has been an educator at James Martin High School for 13 years. Proudly educated in Texas, Ms. Motsenbocker obtained her Bachelor of Science degree in Journalism from Texas Christian University and her Masters of Hospitality Management degree from the University of Houston. Her passion to teach work-based learning has made many contributions to the experience of her students, who not only are college ready, but career ready as well. Ms. Motsenbocker’s students have the opportunity to gain hands-on-experience with great companies like Lockheed Martin, Sikorsky, L3, NCR, the Texas Rangers, and the University of Texas at Arlington. Her “real-world-experience” pedagogy is what distinguishes her as an outstanding educator. She attributes this innovative approach to her career experience in human resources, and training/development in the hospitality industry. Now as an educator at Martin High School, she applies this approach in her many roles, including in her role as a STEM Academy Coordinator and Teacher.

Always being in the forefront of real-world approaches to education, Ms. Motsenbocker’s involvement in STEM as an educator was destiny. Using her experience of building the Arlington Independent School District (AISD) Sports and Entertainment Internship Program, she expanded this idea and structure to the first AISD Engineering Internship Program, which has grown from 6 to 37 students in a lapse of only three years! When the AISD pledged to support the development of a STEM Academy, they did not hesitate in recruiting Ms. Motsenbocker to help lead the program. In its first year, the STEM Academy program has its first cohort of 119 high school students who are immersed in numerous STEM-related enrichment opportunities in places such as the University of Texas at Arlington. Ms. Motsenbocker has high expectations for students in the program; she hopes that “student interns and students in [the] STEM Academy become increasingly more excited, committed and prepared to pursue STEM in college and in a career!”

Her career as an educator in the AISD comes full circle for Ms. Motsenbocker who was born and raised in Arlington, Texas and attended K-12 schools in the AISD. She remembers that back in the day school things were “more simple”, but that at the same time, she did not have different choices and opportunities that students of today currently have available to them. Ms. Motsenbocker “loves being in AISD”, where her journey as a student started, and her career as a STEM educator continues to blossom. She expresses this in her own words, “I value and appreciate the innovative opportunities and support that I have as an educator in the Arlington ISD. It is fun to be part of building and supporting great programs for our kids!” This passion, commitment, and success is what makes Ms. Motsenbocker our educator of the week.

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