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distinguished educator 2008-2009

June 2009 - Kristin Miller


On Friday we honored, Kristin Miller, Science Teacher at Dallas High School with the Distinguished Educator Award.


Ms. Miller was nominated by her student Emily. Here is what Emily had to say about her:


There were lots of things I learned from Ms. Miller that weren't in her lessons, but conveyed through them. From watching her teach and interact with her students, I learned that, to be able to teach and teach well, you must love your subject unconditionally. Her passion and desire to pass on what she knows has inspired me to harness my love of biology into something I can share. Her enthusiasm and zest for life has inspired me to be a better student and person.


Here is what her students had to say about her:

*she makes things easy to understand

*you have fun in her classes

*she is really patient

*she cares about you even outside the classroom

*she can help you without being condescending

*you can talk about things outside the classroom, she is a great person

*in this class she makes things interesting even when they aren't

*she is always in a happy mood and high spirited


Please join us in congratulating Kristin Miller. She is an outstanding educator and an awesome science educator.



May 2009 - Julie Reimer


Last week we honored Julie Reimer, 5th Grade Teacher at Lyle Elementary School with the Distinguished Educator Award.


Julie was nominated by parent Katrina Gunther. Here is what Katrina had to say about her . . . .


We are so blessed to have such a talented and gifted teacher in the Dallas School district. Thanks to Mrs. Reimer our son has been successful in both leadership and being responsible. He has gained self confidence and accomplished things he would have been too shy to accomplish before. Words cannot express the talented and compassionate educator that Mrs. Reimer stands for as well as strongly representing Lyle Elementary School.


Here is what her students had to say about her:

*she explains things over and over until we get it

*a fun teacher

*she makes everything fun

*we do fun activities

*if you have homework she will help you through it until you understand it

*she keeps and keeps on helping

*nice to everyone and is really sweet

*helps us with our handwriting

*she helps us follow the rules

*she inspires us to be better

*helps us with our problems

*if we do get in trouble she helps us know what to do next time


Please join us in congratulating Julie Reimer. She is truly talented educator and the comments by her students tell you her priority on learning for all students.



April 2009 - Julie Graber


Today we honored Julie Graber, 5th Grade Teacher at Whitworth Elementary School with the Distinguished Educator Award. We honored her at a TEAM time assembly early this morning.


Julie was nominated by previous students Taylor and Josh. Here is what Josh had to say about Mrs. Graber:


She's my favorite teacher and she influenced me to help kids in Africa. She showed us a slide show of when she was in Africa. It was so sad so then I did a car wash and had a lemonade stand with a friend. All together I ended up raising $82 for kids in Africa I chose her for this award because she changed my life.


Here is what her students had to say about her:

*she teaches us very well

*funny and real nice

*tries to make it fun

*she lets us take notes and use the notes when we take a test

*she puts a smile to everyone she sees

*she enjoys teaching

*always makes it easier for the students

*she gives out gum during tests

*we earn homework stars and then we get a read in

*she listens and explains things


Please join us in congratulating Julie Graber. She is an awesome educator and truly makes a difference in the lives of her students.




March 2009 - Rebecca Penna


On Thursday, we awarded Rebecca Penna the February Distinguished Educator Award. Rebecca teaches art, leadership and year book at Dallas High School.


Rebecca was nominated by parent of one of Rebecca's students. Here is what she said about Mrs. Penna


I am nominating Rebecca Penna, Art Teacher at Dallas High School for the positive impact she has made in my son's life and his future. Each time I meet her I thank her for the gift she has given my son. Mrs. Penna gently guided my sone through the first term of art allowing him to experience various art mediums, but also challenging him to step outside of the box. Her encouragement and challenges caused something to grow and flourish in my son. Ms. Penna lit a small fire that has grown over the last four years! He has taken aft every term and even took an air-brush painting class through Chemeketa. You must understand how astounding that really is! My son wanted to take a class, a college class! He plans to attend Chemeketa this fall. She has given my son the gift of wanting to learn.


Here is what her students had to say about her:

*she is pure awesome

*encourages the creative thoughts and juices to flow

*she is kind

*never gives me a hard time


*takes her time with every single person

*lively and energetic

*she gives you her opinion

*always ready to make changes


Please join us in congratulating Rebecca Penna on this award. She's an amazing educator and it was so fun to be able to surprise her with this award!



February 2009 - Joan Wright


Today we honored Joan Wright, 1st Grade Teacher at Whitworth Elementary School with the Distinguished Educator Award. We honored her at a TEAM time assembly early this morning.


Joan was nominated by parent Stephanie Hofferber. Here is what Stephanie had to say about Mrs. Wright:


Compassionate, fun, energetic, calm - these are just a few words that describe Joan Wright as a teacher. Just walk into her room and you will see a room full of bright and cheery first graders being taught by one of the best. Imagine leaving your home everyday and entering into a world of adventure and surprises. . . . . Mrs. Wright is a teacher who teaches because it is her passion and greatest joy. Mrs. Wright has truly been a blessing in the lives of my three boys and I know the parents of all the student she had throughout the years, would join me in saying that Mrs. Wright is well deserving of this honor.


Here is what her students had to say about her:

*she makes everything fun

*she cares for her students

*teaches them how to read

*when you get 25 gold coins you get an ice cream

*she helps with math

*makes everything fun because she wants you to come back

*brings the best out in everyone

*she is wonderful

*fun to be with

*always gives a big smile to everyone she sees



Please join us in congratulating Joan Wright. She is an awesome and outstanding educator and extremely deserving of this award. She is amazing in her work with early literacy with her young students.



January 2009 - Mary Tharp


Today we honored Mary Tharp, Science teacher at LaCreole Middle School with the Distinguished Educator Award.


Mary was nominated by Dani Ackerman. Here is what Dani had to say about Mrs. Tharp:


She provides her students with a fabulous learning environment. She shares stories to help us learn what she is teaching about, and she keeps us entertained with her crazy antics whether it's dressing up as a goofy scientist or throwing things around to make sure that we are paying attention. Students in the school never want to leave her class. She makes everyone love science.


Here is what her students had to say about her:

*She's funny

*Tells us stories, science stories

*Learning is not boring, it is kind of interesting

*She dresses up in crazy outfits

*She helps us get it

*She doesn't just skim the surface

*She's a lot like us, but knows more

*She gets to the point

*We have lots of interesting conversations

*She is a humorous scientist


When asked to describe her in 2 words (or less) here is what her students had to say about her:

*the best

*very cool

*great spirit


*not boring

*fun and silly

*excellent teacher

*kind and funny

*creative and inspirational


Please join us in congratulating Mary Tharp. She is an awesome and outstanding educator and VERY deserving of this award.


December 2008 - Blair Cromwell


Blair Cromwell (aka Crom) was awarded the Dallas Distinguished Educator Award for the month of December. Blair is the Drama teacher at Dallas High School She was presented the award during her Introduction to Theater Class.


Blair was nominated by McKenzie Walz a 2008 Graduate of Dallas High School.  Here is some of what McKenzie had to say about Ms. Cromwell:


She has the energy of a six year old on a sugar rush, the wisdom of a 70 year old philosopher and the theater knowledge of Shakespeare (except she knows pretty much everything including Shakespeare). Her upbeat energy, bright smile and heartfelt laughter will brighten even the darkest of days. She's not afraid to push you out of your comfort zone and have you try something new.

High school is full of drama as we all know, but theater is where the claws come out, but Ms. Cromwell does very well at keeping the drama out of the drama class. She's inspirational in more then one way.


Here is what the student had to say about Blair:

*fun to be around

*she is dramatic

*easy going

*makes you laugh

*tells it like it is

*puts herself out there, not afraid of a little embarrassment

*always smiles

*very supportive

*makes the class fun

*always positive

*acts like one of the students

*very encouraging

*like a second mom to some

*I have learned a lot this year


Please join us in congratulating Blair Cromwell. She is so deserving of this award!



November 2008 - Mickie French


Mickie French was awarded the Dallas Distinguished Educator Award for the month of November. As she entered the Lyle gym today she was surprised by a group of students and teachers waiting to see the award presented to her. Mrs. French teaches first grade at Lyle.


Mickie was nominated by colleague Trenda Locke.  Here is what Trenda had to say about Mickie:


A few of the qualities that I admire most about Mickie are her patience, consistency and expectations of the kids. If you have been around 27 first or second graders at one time, you know the need for patience. . . . One of the phrases we heard quite often from Hannah (Trenda's daughter who had Mickie for a teacher last year) "oh well, the sun will still come up tomorrow." Particularly when there had been a mishap. I asked her where she had heard that and she answered "Mrs. French". When I asked her if she knew what it meant she said, "no matter how bad it seems, we have another day tomorrow to try again." To get that message across to first graders is a wonderful way to let kids learn.


Here is what the student had to say about Mrs. French:

  • She calls us frogs and tadpoles when we study frogs.

  • She is really nice and teaches us things we don't know.

  • She doesn't rush us.

  • She let us see germs.

  • She is fun.

  • (Sung to the tune of Goodnight Sweetheart with air guitar accompaniment) My teacher rocks, she is the best in school.  Perhaps the most notable in this presentation was the impact Mrs. French has on mentoring future educators. Two of her former student teachers who have become teachers at Lyle said this:

  • Mrs. French cares for each student. (Ms. Hampton)

  • Mrs. French taught us to teach the individual not the class. (Ms. Casalegno)


Please join us in congratulating Mickie French for this award. She is an absolutely outstanding educator who makes a difference in the lives of children.



October 2008 - Heather Anderson


Heather Anderson, was awarded the first Distinguished Educator Award for the 2008-09 school year. Heather teaches first grade at Oakdale Heights Elementary School.


Mrs. Anderson was nominated by a parent.  Here is what Ms. Moore had to say about Heather:


She teaches the kids to respect themselves and others, and to aim high in everything they do. She teaches them to work hard and not settle for mediocrity. Aaron and Ran (her sons) are quite sure they will change the world and I know their confidence is from being around such a wonderful role model and leader.


Here is what Heather's kids had to say about her:

  • She's my best teacher

  • She makes us work hard and learn

  • She helps us with homework.

  • She does fun things such as reads fun books like One Duck Stuck and Junnie B. Jones

  • She does nice things. She lets us play in the gym.


Please join us in congratulating Heather Anderson on this award. She is one of many outstanding educators in Dallas School District.


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