Tahoe-Truckee Teacher of the Year: Allison Everist is second finalist
Special to the Sun
TAHOE CITY, Calif. — The Truckee Hometown SEARS/Sierra Sun Teacher of the Year program has announced a second 2014-15 finalist, Allison Everist.
Everist teaches second grade at Tahoe Lake Elementary School and was recognized for her creativity and dedication to meeting the needs of every student.
“Mrs. Everist has a special way of making every student, every person, feel incredibly welcomed and valued in her classroom, and of making every day feel exciting and adventurous,” said Tahoe Lake Elementary School principal Stephanie Foucek.
On March 26, program sponsors Charlie Riley, owner of Truckee Hometown SEARS and Michael Gelbman, publisher of the Sierra Sun/North Lake Tahoe Bonanza, presented Everist with an award certificate and gifts.
Allison Everist grew up splitting her time between the Bay Area and Lake Tahoe. Each summer she would work at Tahoe, and she fell in love with the area.
Everist attended college at University of Nevada, Reno, and earned a degree in Elementary Education and received her Multiple Subject teaching credential.
In college, she met her husband who was from Tahoe, and the two decided to settle there after graduation.
Everist started her education career working for the Boys and Girls Club. She stayed there for six years, working mostly with elementary aged students.
After taking some time to care for her own young children, Everist accepted a position teaching Cooking and Child Development at North Tahoe High School.
She went on to teach Health and Cooking at Truckee High School, and later PE back at North Tahoe High School.
Two years ago, Everist went back to her original passion, and started teaching at Tahoe Lake Elementary.
While she enjoyed her time working with high school students, Everist is excited to be teaching second grade.
“I love it!” said Everist. “They are so impressionable and sweet, and have a genuine urge to learn.”
Everist particularly enjoys working at a Science-based school. Tahoe Lake offers students hands-on learning, focusing on their natural environment to address science curriculum.
Everist loves the opportunity to engage her students through experiments. While recently learning about states of matter, her students made candles and then explored how the wax changes forms.
After observing that the wick doesn’t change but incinerates, they moved to examining how matter could seemingly disappear. Students went on to make soap and learn about how it dissolves.
“Science is where their wonder, excitement and curiosity can come out more,” said Everist. “They want to know everything.”
Everist is a scientist in her own right, using classroom research and personal observations to create an environment full of choice, autonomy and individualized instruction for her students.
Using education models like the Daily 5 framework, Everist guides her students to set personal goals, and plan and assess their own learning.
Each day the class meets and students plan what they will be working on to meet goals specific to their educational needs.
Students work independently while Everist conferences with individual students and works with small groups.
Everist uses this method to teach lessons beyond the content; students learn about expectations, responsibility and ownership.
“Mrs. Everist greets the children every day with a huge smile and tons of positive energy,” wrote one parent nominator. “My daughter has gained so much confidence in her class, specifically with reading, and adores Mrs. Everist.”
At times, her classroom can look pretty chaotic, with students working on many different activities at once; however, all the students know what their goals are, and everyone is doing what they need to do.
Everist reminds them with the phrase, “you worry about you.”
Everist has helped students build their skills and engaged them with her creativity.
This year her class put on a play of “Tikki Tikki Tembo.” Students grew as they took on their roles and their confidence and pride was visible.
“Because she is so excited about what she is teaching, her students are super motivated about what they are learning, and this shows in their academic growth and in the confidence they develop in themselves in her class,” said principal Foucek. “Mrs. Everist is incredibly positive, and her joy is infectious.”
Everist is genuinely excited and happy to be teaching her second graders each day.
“This is where I want to be, I love it,” said Everist. “I just want to get really good at it.”
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