Each of the 2014 Excel Award winners has a different approach to educating the students in their classroom.
Despite the variances, however, all of them possess exceptional skills that help their students understand the concepts being taught. It’s an ability they learned from their own mentors and teachers, and it will surely be passed on to the next generation of educators.
We congratulate this year’s Excel winners for their hard work and commitment to preparing students for college, career and life in the 21st century world.
Below are excerpts from the 2014 Excel Awards Ceremony at Granger High School.
Ruth Adolphson – Science Teacher, Cyprus High
Ruth believes in her students and has high expectations for each of them. She uses a variety of methods, labs, and activities in her classroom to provide active learning. She believes education opens doors and builds bridges between people and cultures. Ruth’s example proves that education is a noble and worthwhile endeavor.
Robin Farnsworth – Third Grade Teacher – Neil Armstrong Academy
Robin ensures her students learn by doing and that they are each active participants in her classroom. She emphasizes ingenuity and innovation in her teaching methods. Focusing on student engagement gives Robin the motivation and courage to be creative and improve herself each day.
Le Vuong – Mathematics Teacher, Bennion Jr. High
Le loves to teach for many reasons. His love for mathematics, positive energy and passion for sharing knowledge is contagious. His teaching methods open up students’ curiosity and interest for learning. The reward of making a difference in the lives of Le’s students easily outweighs any challenges he may face.
Rachel Jensen – Second Grade Teacher, Calvin Smith Elementary
Rachel believes anyone can change for the better and that each day is a fresh start. She knows there is merit in making the best of what you have and she is always looking for ways to grow and improve. Rachel became an educator to instill her love of learning in her students and help them become lifelong learners.
Amber Tuckness – Instrumental Music Teacher, Cottonwood High
Amber feels that every day is a new adventure in teaching. She finds joy in sharing the gift of music with young, impressionable students. She was inspired by her music and core teachers to become and educator. She believes if you can change just one life for the better, you are a success in life. Amber hopes to change as many lives for good as possible.
Sarah Waddoups – Second Grade Teacher, Oakwood Elementary
Sarah shows her students that good teachers never stop learning. She became an educator because it allows her to promote positive change and take on the challenge of solving problems each day. Sarah believes that with knowledge comes power, and she strives to empower others.
Heidi Parkin – Third Grade Teacher, Spring Lane Elementary
Heidi believes that praise and a kind word creates a bond between students and their teacher. She knows when a child feels secure and respected; he or she is able to learn. Heidi’s positive philosophy reaches students, parents, and colleagues and builds bridges of understanding.
Mark Grant – Principal, Evergreen Jr. High
Mark’s greatest strength as an administrator is his ability to work well with everyone he comes in contact with – parents, teachers and staff. He feels that the greatest gift you can give someone is an education. He believes education equals opportunity for students to make the world a better place. Mark is a passionate person and lives his passion every day at Evergreen Jr. High.
Sharon Hall – General Education Teacher, Christmas Box House
Sharon loves giving her students the tools they need to learn and become the best thy can be. She strives to be a champion to brave-hearted students by believing in them, seeing their potential, and showing them kindness. Sharon knows that good teachers have the potential to change the world.
Keri Graybill – AVID Teacher, Granite Park Jr. High
Keri loves learning and believes there’s no better place to be than a classroom full of learners. She teaches to inspire students to believe in themselves and their abilities. Keri helps her students with worthwhile work to give them the necessary tools to turn their dreams into reality.