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Teachers of the Year - 2015

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One way to make sure students stay engaged in a scientific experiment is to use gummy bears in the lab. That’s a trick Mindy Timothy learned as she pushed the…
Matt Leininger gets plenty of exercise in each of his physics classes. After he finishes teaching a concept, he makes the rounds in his classroom, checking in with nearly every…
When it comes to teaching her fourth-grade students arithmetic, Lisa Talbot is something of a “math-magician,” her principal says. Talbot’s combination of tough love and joyful exuberance — plus her…
Becky Morgan has brought the notion of supporting her students and caring for the individual to a whole new level. As a resource teacher, Morgan is diligent in tracking her…
Dena Smith’s approach to teaching is to give every student love, attention, and the confidence to succeed. In return, students give Smith their attention, best efforts and good behavior. Smith,…
Because of Marci Oliphant-Allred’s innovative, hands-on approach to making learning fun and meaningful, the students in her kindergarten class increased from a 42 percent proficiency level in reading in the…
Marci Weatherspoon has a way of talking to her first-grade class that sounds a lot more like listening — and it’s the secret to earning her students’ respect. Weatherspoon teaches…
As a teacher with 44 years of experience, Renee Pay has become a model educator at the Canyons Technical Education Center, her colleagues say. Under her instruction, students are transformed…
Tricia Fenton’s cheerful disposition, attentiveness, and willingness to go above and beyond in the classroom has paid off for her students. On mid-year tests, 96 percent of her fourth-graders have…
When it comes to garnering feedback from her students, Emily Nance always has an ace up her sleeve. In her lessons, students respond together orally, by giving thumbs-up and thumbs…
Danna Caldwell is the kind of teacher who puts her students’ needs before her own. Case in point: Two years ago, as she battled cancer, Caldwell was worried more about…
Students in Dean Lowe’s science class know exactly what to expect when they sit down in his room. They know they have a teacher who will give them positive feedback…
After 40 years of teaching, Joyce Acosta remains dedicated to her craft. Acosta often is the first to arrive at Edgemont Elementary in the morning and the last to leave…
After teaching special education for 27 years, Donna Spivey has become an expert at helping students realize their own abilities and recognize their own strengths. She brings a positive attitude…
Parents love having Megan Meier as their child’s teacher so much they return to her classroom long after the school year is over to ask her advice on how to…
When colleagues and parents describe Claudia Jimenez, they refer to this quote from William Arthur Ward: “The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great…
When there is a task that needs to be done, Jana Mumford is the kind of teacher who always is willing to do it. That’s how she came to teach…
As a first-grade French immersion teacher, Sebastien Levitre finds opportunities to teach his students a new language in hundreds of different ways. The class takes trips outside to discuss “le…
Susan Homer’s teaching is a perfect balance between kindness and discipline. She helps her students to chart their progress. She works with students who struggle, maintains high expectations, and enforces…
Lisa Rigby is a talented educator with a knack for helping struggling students. “My son gained much responsibility and (learned) the value of hard work,” one parent wrote of Rigby.…
“Dynamite,” is the word colleagues use to describe Julie Page’s energy level, passion and impact on students. Page inspires students — and her colleagues — to achieve great things. She…
Mary Ann Deem is known by her fifth-graders as the teacher with a big heart who pushes them to do their best. Deem helps struggling readers to know how many…
As a teacher at South Park Academy’s Adult High School, Patty Lundin never misses an opportunity to help change the lives of her students. Her students are inmates at the…
As a first-grade teacher at Sunrise Elementary, Jan Simpson is a master at helping new students transition to a full day of school. She is attentive to all of her…
Parents say that Bryan Stephenson already is a master teacher, but he still keeps looking for ways to improve. That’s why he spent his summer reading Ken O’Connor’s “A Repair…
As one parent writes, many teachers can be great when their students learn easily, but the mark of a truly great teacher is how he or she helps those who…