SCSD#2 selects six finalists for Teacher of the Year

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Tyler Johnson, [email protected]

GREEN RIVER, WYOMING (May 12, 2021) – Six teachers were chosen by the Super 8 Committee to be named Teacher of the Year for Sweetwater County School District No. 2.

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The Super 8 Committee is a committee made up of GREA certified and support staff, board members, the superintendent and assistant superintendent. They had to choose from 33 nominations for the 2020-2021 school year.

The winner will be announced at the Board of Trustees meeting on June 8 and will be eligible for the Wyoming Teacher of the Year award.

Below are summaries of the nominations of the finalists for the 2020-2021 Teacher of the Year.

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Phil Harder

Harder is indeed an incredible educator, he truly represents the values of Green River High School and continually holds himself to a higher standard to improve himself as a teacher and coach and those within his classroom, and on the tennis, courts are also held to that high standard.  Harder is indeed knowledgeable, inspiring, a leader; but he is also kind, compassionate and understanding.  He teaches each student in his class as though he is teaching his own child.  He listens, respects, values and strives to help each student become the best version of themselves as they can be.  This year, more than ever, our students have needed excellent teachers to navigate the educational setting during a global pandemic, but they also need supportive educators who care for their social/emotional needs.  Harder has an extraordinary compassion for his students and his athletes and took the time to make certain each student knew that they are seen, they are heard and that they are loved.

 

Justin Lamb

Lamb has a unique ability to reach out to students and make them eager to learn.  Students feel safe and empowered in his class to be themselves and to strive for improvement.  Lamb is the first to recognize and compliment students and staff on achievements and a job well done as well as being a positive power for good in our school and in our community.  As a coach, Lamb always encourages his players to celebrate their accomplishments while challenging them to push hard for improvement.  Lamb embodies leadership, teamwork, positivity, while inspiring learning and improvement in those around him. 

 

 

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Britney Montgomery

Montgomery has gone above and beyond this year for her students.  Montgomery has exceeded expectations to make sure that every student has what they need to succeed; whether it is alternative seating, noise cancelling headphones, a quick picture or message sent to parents, a hug or a pep talk to keep the kids going.  Montgomery has navigated being online and as a classroom teacher beautifully.  Montgomery’s level of commitment exceeds the expectations of parents and staff within the District.  Montgomery shares her passion for learning with the entire community.  Montgomery has been reading online since the pandemic began last year to connect with the kids during a time of isolation.  She started this process on her personal Facebook page, which caught the attention of a local news media page who offered to sponsor her on their page.  Montgomery also continues to read online voluntarily during the holidays when children are on break from school.  This has instilled a love of reading in so many children that she has reached.  Montgomery has a love for life and learning and passes it on to her classes.  Montgomery’s efforts have provided a wonderful learning environment to all, especially in a year that has had so many unknown factors. 

 Pepper Rynio-Brandt

Rynio-Brandt has a relationship with each of her students and it just doesn’t stop because they graduate.  Rynio-Brandt always asks her former students what they are doing, are they continuing their education and always reminds them that they need to find something that they are passionate about and they will have never worked a day in their lives.  Rynio Brandt has always gone over and beyond for her students and continually puts her students first.

 

 

 

 

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Mikayla Smart

Smart isn’t just an amazing Kindergarten teacher, but she has also taken on making her whole school a better place.  Smart has created and ran the Student Council at Monroe Elementary School and has been working with the High School Student Council to create unity in our District.  Smart is also the assistant cheer coach and with her help they are the first Wyoming team making it to Nationals in Orlando, Florida.  While doing all of this, Smart has created a safe and nurturing learning environment for her students.  Smart also is kind and treats every one of her students and colleagues with the utmost respect.

Shane Steiss

Steiss always goes above and beyond for Green River High School.  He is the leader of the Building Intervention Team as well as an advisor for Hope Squad.  Steiss is reliable and always lends a hand to his coworkers, but especially for his students.  Steiss is a teacher that students go to for help; he is seen as a trusted adult and a good role model for all.  Steiss always has a smile on his face.  That smile brings comfort and compassion to his students and provides that safe harbor for the students.

 

 

 

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