Teacher Appreciation Week: Honoring local educators | SierraSun.com

Teacher Appreciation Week: Honoring local educators

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TAHOE/TRUCKEE — Teachers never really clock out. When you consider all of the hours outside of school that teachers spend to prepare meaningful lesson plans, grading, searching for enrichment activities, writing grants for classroom projects, and professional development, the hours add up.

With all of the extra time they put in, you may wonder why anyone would pursue a teaching career. The answer is simple: Teachers care about their work and the future of our kids. Our educators play a key role in every student’s development and evolution.

This week, May 6-10, is Teacher Appreciation Week, when we take time to recognize and thank all of the hard-working teachers who are dedicated to educating our youth.

As our new Tahoe Truckee Unified School District vision states: “TTUSD teachers are passionate professionals entrusted with the duty of ensuring the highest level of learning for all students.”

Not only are our teachers responsible for learning, along with school staff, they are entrusted with maintaining the physical and emotional safety of our scholars while they are at school. If that sounds like a big job to you, multiply that by 20-34 students at a time.

Last summer, we recognized 2012 Tahoe-Truckee Teacher of the Year Jennifer Jurosky of North Tahoe High School and the Excellence in Education Linda Brown Fellows Award winners: Sherry Burns Sullivan, Truckee Elementary; Rita Moring, Tahoe Lake Elementary; Amalia Niewendorp, Truckee Elementary; and Jennifer Smith, Tahoe Truckee High School.

These teachers were nominated by their peers, students, and parents and chosen from among many other excellent teachers also nominated. Whether or not they win awards, there are outstanding teachers at work every day in our schools.

TTUSD teachers share their passion for music, sports, theater, and literature, helping students to reach their full potential and teaching them skills that will enrich their lives well beyond their school years.

In the past year, teachers at North Tahoe High School and Tahoe Truckee High School voluntarily increased their workloads, preparing more lessons and syllabi in order to offer new courses based on student requests. Course options for the 2013-2014 school year will continue to increase.

Through the North Tahoe High School Ski Academy, teachers also work closely with athletes and other students who need a flexible schedule in order to accommodate rigorous competing and training schedules, allowing them to get all the support and benefit of a comprehensive high school experience with the flexibility of an independent study program.

Our elementary and middle school teachers are continually looking for ways to engage students through hands-on learning with Green Teams, Eco-Clubs, and various field trips and leadership programs in conjunction with community partners such as Sierra Watershed Education Partnerships, Sagehen Field Station, Truckee Rotary Club, and Tahoe Forest Hospital.

Many of the outside of the classroom experiences that TTUSD students participate in require extra work organizing and coordinating on the part of teachers and staff but provide invaluable lessons in environmental stewardship and leadership.

Another example of a teacher working toward increased opportunities for our students is Jean Fournier of Glenshire Elementary.

Fournier and Leisa Peterson saw the value of the international education program Odyssey of the Mind and worked hard to bring this creative team problem-solving program to Tahoe-Truckee in 2010.

This community-sponsored program has continued to grow, and this year ten Tahoe-Truckee Odyssey of the Mind teams competed, ranging from elementary school to high school. Several teams were coached by TTUSD teachers who volunteered their time (along with parents and community members).

There are countless examples of teachers going beyond their job description to enrich students’ learning experiences and increase programs at TTUSD schools.

Please take time this week to let teachers know that we appreciate their contributions to the success and well-being of our scholars.

Provided by Switchback PR + Marketing on behalf of the Tahoe Truckee Unified School District.

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