Two educators from Cache Valley recently received a Utah Education Association Excellence in Teaching Award during the KeyBank Superstars in Education banquet on May 19. The awards are given annually to teachers whose efforts in the classroom significantly impact the life of an individual child or group of children.
Andy Lund, Vice Principal at South Cache Middle School in the Cache County School District, and Kathy Sherman, English as a Second Language teacher at Ellis Elementary in the Logan City School District, received the awards, a poster to display at their school and each received a check for $1,500, courtesy of award sponsor doTERRA.
Lund was recognized for his efforts to work with students who struggle with behavior challenges and, at times, even law enforcement. In a <a href=”http://www.kued.org/uea-excellence-teaching-awards-2017#paragraphs-item-2076″ target=”_blank”>produced video</a> by the UEA and KUED television, Lund says he is hoping to treat students and teachers like he would like to be treated.
“To be excellent in education,” Lund says, “I think you’re taking the heritage, you’re taking what other people, roll models, other influences in your life have done and then you apply them to yourself. You take the talents and gifts that you have and make an investment in the future.”
“He’s like a perfect example of what a service professional is,” Rodney Buttars says in the video. “He sees a need for something that could help students be more successful, then the goes for that need and to better himself as an educator or an administrator.”
Buttars is a science teacher at South Cache Middle School and nominated Lund for the award.
“I remember he went and got his math endorsement,” Buttars continues, “so he could teach math because he saw a need there for kids to have more help and assistance with math.”
In addition to working through changing boundaries, age dynamics and staff at the middle school this past year, Lund worked closely with juvenile and adult community members who needed to serve probation hours.
“He helped these individuals experience service opportunities at the school to meet the needs of their probation by working right alongside them under the direction of their supervising deputies,” the award site states.
Kathy Sherman was recognized for her ability to not only effectively teach English as a Second Language, but also for how she cares deeply and individually about each of her students.
This past year she developed a “Newcomer’s Summer School” program to help students who were new to the area. The program ran throughout the summer for 19 students, primarily from Ethiopia and Mexico. Two aides and 54 volunteers amassed 219 volunteer hours running the program, providing one-on-one assistance to the students.
“The thing in my job, that maybe makes it a little different, is I am a lot of people’s connection to the English-speaking world,” Sherman explains in <a href=”http://www.kued.org/uea-excellence-teaching-awards-2017#paragraphs-item-2087″ target=”_blank”>her award video</a>. “That’s probably one of the fun parts of my job. I do get to know not only the kids but their families.
“If they have any needs there’s opportunities to help them out with different things that may not have to do with school. I love that part. I love the families, and that is a very rewarding part of my job.”
Sherman was nominated by Annette Peterson, a Kindergarten teacher at Ellis Elemenatry School. Peterson praises Sherman’s ability to connect with the students and care about them outside of the classroom.
“Their families oftentimes cannot help them with their homework,” Peterson explains. “Oftentimes education isn’t their top priority. Getting food on the table is their top priority, getting their kids clothed, paying the bills. They have obstacles to overcome and, boy, Kathy is so aware of that and so wants to help them.”
Peterson explains that when students and parents don’t show up for parent conferences, Sherman calls to offer rides to those without transportation. She also goes further by providing transportation to some of these families who need to go to the grocery store or to a doctor visit, and then translates for them. She helps parents understand their utility bills and legal documents, find housing and arrange for dental care.
“We call her St. Kathy at our school because she is such a wonderful person,” adds Peterson.
To learn more about the other award recipients, and the award program, <a href=”http://www.myuea.org/for_professional_educators/recognition_awards/excellence_in_teaching/2017_excellence_in_teaching.aspx#Profiles” target=”_blank”>click here</a>.