On October 1st I had the pleasure of attending the UVM Outstanding Teacher award ceremony with our OCSU award recipients, April Lane and Sandra Young. Each year UVM recognizes educators who are nominated by their districts/supervisory unions for significant contributions to their field. Both April and Sandra are well-deserving of this award.
Sandra Young is an OCSU graduate who has been teaching for 5 years, 4 of those years at the Albany School. As a first and second grade teacher Sandra ran an organized classroom that was fun and full of learning. Her students showed remarkable results on early literacy assessments and were especially enthusisastic about writing. Sandra has a wonderful rapport with parents and brings a postive energy to the Albany School community. This year Sandra has transitioned to become a special educator in Albany.
April Lane is another OCSU graduate; she taught middle school math at Irasburg School for 8 years. April demonstrated willingness, initiative, and skills to share her knowledge and expertise with colleagues. She helped plan professional development for staff, served as a leader on our Leadership Team, and has been a driving force on the Irasburg School Crisis Planning and Response Team, as well as continuing her own professional growth and development. April’s greatest strength has been developing relationships with students, especially the ones that have needed the support the most. This year April has transitioned to become the principal of the Brighton School.
April and Sandra are two of a long list of distinguished OCSU educators, and that list does not tell the whole story. We are only allowed to nominate two candidates each year and it is always a very difficult choice. I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting on the fact that one of the things that makes OCSU such a strong system is the collaboration among our staff members. I am interested in finding ways to recognize more staff, including teams that are especially effective at working together. I would love to hear from board members and staff members who are interested in working with me to develop a recognition system that honors our staff. Leave me a comment below if you'd like to work with me on this project.