Archive for the ‘BVSD teachers’ Category

Spencer Ferrel and Meganne Ferrel pose for a picture with Dr. Chris King, superintendent of the Boulder Valley School District, Wayne Boss, first counselor in the Boulder Colorado Stake presidency, and Mark Haxton of Aspen Creek, the brother and sister’s former teacher, after Haxton received the stake’s “Most Inspirational Teacher” award on Feb. 24, 2010, at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 701 W. South Boulder Road, Louisville, Colo.


In an evening filled with words of appreciation, the Boulder Colorado Stake gave “Most Inspirational Teacher” awards to 11 Boulder Valley School District teachers on Feb. 24 at 701 W. South Boulder Road, Louisville. Colo. Superintendent Chris King, and school board members, Virginia Belval and Jim Reed, were honored guests along with several principals.

The local geographical subdivision of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints honored Pam Unrau of Douglas Elementary, Mark Haxton of Aspen Creek, Belinda Harp-Schrag and Arthurenia Hawkins of Broomfield Heights Middle School, Terrence Dunn, Andrea Staufer, and Jim Davidson of Broomfield High, David Evans, Reid Walker and Jay Weerman of Monarch High, and Carla Flanhofer of Peak to Peak.

As the guest speaker, King reminisced fondly about the beginning of his career as a teacher at Broomfield High. Then, he shared Authentic Teachers by Sydney J. Harris from the 1964 edition of Phi Delta Kappan.

King said through Harris, “Only an authentic person can evoke a good response in the core of another person” that knowledge and technique are not enough, and that not until they have “liberated themselves from what is artificial and unauthentic” can they connect with others.

The honored BVSD teachers not only were authentic but inspirational as the students who nominated them attested. The students’ tributes carried familiar themes. Teachers gave of themselves in their course content as well as in a personal way. In part, here is what students said:

In honoring Haxton, Spencer Ferrel said “he allowed students to have their own opinions even if it meant not skimming over controversial topics,” “created an environment of cooperation,” and made it comfortable and fun to go to class.”

Meganne Ferrel said Haxton was “one of her most influential teachers,” who “always gave me the option to speak my mind, and I know that he didn’t judge me for it.”

Nathan Davis praised Walker for encouraging him to take particular classes, for helping him figure out career choices and for staying “around after school to help us with whatever problems we had with anything in his class.”

Hawkins received tributes from three students. Parker Ericson said she was “someone I could always go to if I needed help” and “loved art and tried to reach out to other students and share her passion.”

Chelsea Kaiser said Hawkins was “one of those teachers that works with their students, not just for them” who would “spend her time during her classes doing a project with us.”

Brooke Ericson gave a specific example how Hawkins helped her feel valued when “one day in pottery Ms. Hawkins stopped to tell me what a good job I had done running in a track meet.”

Moriah Hippen honored Flanhofer and said she was “engaging” in class and turned “what could be dull history into elaborate soap operas of warring factions, economic turns and politics” and reinforced “key ideas with activities like sculpting symbols from our studies.”

KyLee Ferrera said Weerman was dedicated to 5 a.m. practices and “taught me to not only relax and not stress out over a swim but also to stay focused and on track with my goals” while offering words of encouragement and support.

Kate Diamond said Harp-Schrag “helped me make a plan to get back on track” when she was struggling in math and “encouraged me to ask questions and helped me gain confidence in my ability” while she “always had patience when she helped me fix my mistakes.”

Lauren Toone and Alisha Flanagan honored Staufer. Toone said she could identify with Staufer because Staufer was in band in high school like Toone and “she always found ways to make [communications in society class] cool and to make learning fun.”

Flanagan agreed Staufer played games “like speed vocabulary to help us learn our material” but also made “literature more interesting and easier to understand by giving us different perspectives to view books from,” which encouraged her to do well on assignments.

Keller Reeves said Dunn “knows the subject and is able to explain it in a way the class can easily grasp. He feels comfortable teaching and is great about providing the class with informative and worthwhile lectures. After school, students often gravitate to his room to have an open place to work.”

Jessica Diamond said Davidson set “high expectations” in his language arts and Shakespeare classes and “thankfully, he has always helped me to achieve them.” She added “he really conveys the meaning of the literature we read and study, not just the words on the paper” and is “expert at painting pictures of characters and what they really feel.”

Jacob Jashinsky said Evans’ teaching in math became a “turning point” in helping him in math. He added, “Whenever I have a question, he is there to answer it. And, the answer isn’t only a yes or no, but he tells me why it is a yes or no. He is always there to push people to go further and learn more.”

Trevor Luke and Tanner Luke honored Unrau. Tanner said Unrau was “one of my favorite teachers at Douglas Elementary. She was nice, sweet and very helpful throughout third grade, and even throughout the rest of elementary school.”

Trevor said Unrau helped him transition to his third new school in four years, helped him see his potential and boosted his confidence. He added, “I remember her reading one of my creative writing pieces and telling me that I could be a famous author someday.”

In adding to the sweet spirit of the evening, Wayne Boss, first counselor in the stake presidency, told The Teddy Story, by Elizabeth Silance Ballard. Though the story was fictional, it was a moving example of the value of caring, inspirational and authentic teachers.

As Ballard’s Mrs. Thompson helped Teddy, the honored teachers have helped their students in varying degrees. Near the end of the evening and the story, Teddy, now Dr. Stoddard, gave his teacher a hug and whispered in her ear, “Thank you so much for making me feel important and showing me that I could make a difference.”

[See more pictures at http://www.mytowncolorado.com/photo/albums/most-inspirational-teacher/ Click on a picture then move from one to the other using “previous” and “next” at the top right corner.]

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