MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – For young students, getting good grades in math can sometimes depend on the teacher. Often students need one-on-one time.

One teacher in Mounds View is known to go above and beyond to help students grasp the subject, and that’s what makes her this week’s Excellent Educator.

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Julie Hartinger has been teaching math for five years at Edgewood Middle School, but even she’ll admit the subject didn’t always come naturally to her.

“I struggled with it, definitely. Especially in the higher maths. But, I enjoy doing it so I continued with it,” she said.

Perhaps it’s that struggle that motivates her now in her own classroom. You’ll often find her giving each student individual attention.

“Not everybody gets it and that’s the beauty of it,” she said. “It’s fun to watch them explore with all the different concepts and put it together. I really like those ‘ah-ha’ moments.”

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Those “ah-ha” moments are priceless for the students who appreciate her teaching style.

“She’s one of the teachers that always has an after-school opportunity if you need extra help after school,” one of her students said. “She’s there whenever you need help.”

“That’s what Mrs. Hartinger does so well. She understands where each student is at and then directs instruction to help students learn,” Penny Howard, the school principal, said.

These days everything is about testing.  Mrs. Hartinger has been known to raise students tests scores in a big way.

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The student who nominated her said she helped raise her score 22 points on a standardized test.