When we chose the winning teachers out of all the nominations that we received during our Teacher Appreciation Week Contest, we knew it would be difficult to pick from so many amazing individuals. Educators do so much for our children, our communities and ultimately, our society. Teachers deserve more than a week to feel special and be recognized for everything they do.
Greg Oates gives 110% and makes his classes relatable to the real world. He teaches his students practical skills, so they can earn and spend money responsibly. On top of getting his master's he also coaches T-Ball. Greg is a kind teacher who does an amazing job motivating his students and preparing them for success in their future.
Pamela Trujillo creates transformative learning experiences for her students. She inspires her colleagues and makes the art of teaching look easy, even during especially challenging times. Johnny Trujillo has a big impact on his students. His magnetic personality and kind heart wins over even the toughest kids. He loves teaching and this shows every day in the way he interacts with students and colleagues. His students keep in touch with him after they graduate to talk, get advice, or to get a letter of recommendation.
Mary Frech has impressed her colleagues immensely in her first year of teaching. They see her love of and passion for working with kids, and how much of an impact she makes on each of her students. Her classroom is pleasant, fun and full of positive energy. Mary is a wonderful teacher and is so organized and thorough, she once decorated her classroom with 101 Dalmatian spots to celebrate day 101 of the school year.
Sarah Clegern was nominated by a parent whose children have been positively impacted by their teacher. In the past two years both students were able to experience kindergarten with as little disruption as possible thanks to the way Sarah adapted to all the challenges and changes that were required of educators over the past two and a half years.
“I have been humbled by her amount of care, love, and respect [she has] for her role. Her classroom is lively, happy, and full of life. Kindergarteners see themselves as inventors, scientists, artists, engineers, mathematicians…students believe they can do and be anything because she has taught them to have a growth mindset and an inventor’s heart. My daughter, who struggles in so many ways, is successful. She loves school. It is because of Mrs Clegern. Mrs. Clegern is loved. She has given [my] daughter and son a start to school that will always be remembered and appreciated. She will forever be a hero in our house."
-Ivy Stockwell School Parent
Pedro Parra is a leader within his school community. He leads his colleagues in professional development, in meetings, and creates agendas and other materials so everyone can be successful. His passion is the Spanish Dual Immersion Program, because he believes being bilingual opens important opportunities and possibilities for students when they leave school and enter the workforce. His grade 6 students respect him because his classroom is built on acceptance and teamwork, and always makes sure his students have what they need to be successful.
The educators we chose demonstrate why teaching deserves more respect as a profession and why our teacher shortage - if current trends continue - greatly affects current and future generations. It is important for students to have a high-quality education to prepare them for success and make them competitive in today’s global society. When more educators can make a long, sustainable career out of teaching we’ll have more teachers like our winners leading the next generation to success.