Last month we celebrated National Back to School Month by nominating teachers you felt deserves some recognition. With nearly 200 nominations, we wanted to thank all those who participated! Say congrats to our Treat Your Teacher Winners: Gina, Christopher, and Janet!
Thank you again for your kind words and support for our teachers!
♡ The Storiarts Team
Gina Willis (nominated by Elizabeth Ahlstrom)
5th Grade Math
Ms. Willis is passionate about reading. Even though she currently teaches math, she is always encouraging students to read. She not only models a love of reading by her own example, she also likes to play literary matchmaker by helping kids find just the right book. She asks the students in her homeroom about what they are reading and what they like. Then she might lend them a book from her classroom library or point them in the right direction to find a book they will enjoy. Or, as my daughter explained, “All of the teachers at school were always talking about how important reading is, but Ms. Willis didn’t talk about it, she just showed it by her actions.” She even took the time to put together a personalized summer reading guide for my daughter, filled with award-winning middle grade novels. Some teachers have an influence that reaches beyond the classroom, and Ms. Willis has been one of those teachers. My daughter will remember the math skills she learned from Ms. Willis, but what I think will really stick with her is her shared love of reading. I’m so glad she didn’t just “stay in her lane” as a math teacher, but she used her influence to encourage a lifelong love of reading.
Christopher Larsen (nominated by Deanna Larsen)
Elementary School, Grade 6-7
Christopher teaches at an inner city school, which requires a special type of teacher. His days start when he arrives at the school at 6:45am so he will be ready when the children arrive at 8:30. He provides the one safe space these children have, and provides so much more than just textbooks. He leaves the school between 7:00pm and 8:00pm, generally after several meetings and emsuring that all of his kids got to a safe place after school. The kids know that Mr. Larsen has everything from pencils to snacks, to sanitary products. Most importantly, he provides a safe place for the kids to be themselves, no matter what. His commitment and dedication is second to none.
Janet Hill (nominated by Janel Olds)
We are a small school and many times the Jr. Kindergarten teachers are overlooked as heroes in our community. Our school lacks substitute teachers, so when Ms. Janet Hill was diagnosed last year with breast cancer we all panicked about what would happen. She never missed a day, despite receiving chemotherapy, she came to school every day with a positive attitude and smile on her face. She never complained and most parents had no idea what she was going through personally. She is truly an amazing person and amazing teacher. This would be such a great way to start the new year and such a positive way to thank her for all has done for our children!