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ALC's Teacher of the Month Contest

The AVID Leadership Council (ALC), led by President Summer Tuggle and directed by Mrs. Jacie Ballard, is pleased to announce a newly developed Teacher of the Month award. Students in the ALC would like to recognize the efforts of their outstanding teachers, and have met and created a rubric with criteria that these teachers must meet to be nominated for Teacher of the Month. Please look below to see the current and previous winners! 

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The ALC is pleased to announce the Teacher of the Month for November, Mr. Lee Valdez. Mr. Valdez coaches various sports and teaches Economics and World Geography at Cooper High School. Here is what his students had to say about him:

“Coach Valdez shows kindness towards his students by making sure all students are doing okay. He says “Hi!” or “What’s up?” to each person he passes, even kids that aren’t in his class. He makes a student feel as though they are family and not just another student in the mix. Coach Valdez uses WICOR strategies in his classroom, and does a major focus on the “C”, collaboration. He is very big on collaboration in class and making sure that his students understand the multiple different subjects he teaches. He also emphasizes the “W”, writing, by using focused notes to help students fully grasp each part of his presentations and lessons. Coach Valdez goes the extra mile by comign to the school early and staying late. He puts everything into his classes and teams he coaches. He always makes sure you understand what you are doing, whether it is on the field/court or in the classroom.”

Thank you Coach Valdez for your dedication and hard work for our students! 

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The ALC and Junior High Student Council have teamed up to select the Junior High winner for November Teacher of the Month, Mrs. Deanne Dial. Mrs. Dial teaches 8th Grade History and coaches basketball at Cooper Junior High. Here is what her students had to say about her:

“Coach Dial shows she cares for her students by supplying athletes with hair ties and drinks in athletics. She gives us candy when we answer questions correctly. She also gives respect to all students. She uses WICOR strategies in class by giving Cornell notes, giving us Focused notes, and using Quizzez. She also goes through plays step by step in athletics, and tells awesome jokes! She goes the extra mile by giving us buzzer beaters and helping with form shooting. She comes early if we need extra help as well.”

Thank you Mrs. Dial for you hard work and dedication!

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September: Rebecca Castorena

The AVID Leadership Council (ALC) is pleased to announce the Teacher of the Month for September, Mrs. Rebecca Castorena. 

Mrs. Castorena teaches English II, English III, and One Act Play at Cooper High School. Here is what her students had to say about her:

“She is very supportive and understanding. She’s always willing to help and listen to new ideas and never hesitates to help someone out. She always makes sure she answers questions in a way that her students can understand. She teaches writing strategies such as annotating the text and finds ways to make class entertaining. Mrs. Castorena also is constantly finding ways to add AVID strategies such as Philosophical Chairs (a debate with textual evidence) and Socratic Seminars (a student-generated question driven discussion) into her lessons, which makes class more interesting. She teaches us how to break down a text properly using the correct annotating strategies. We appreciate the way she puts a lot of thought into our bell ringers. She’s very dedicated to One Act Play, and would always stay late and help out. Before COVID, she would make OAP breakfast in the mornings after we had long trips. She always made sure everyone was properly cared for.” 

Thank you Mrs. Castorena for your dedication and hard work for our students!

 

October: J.D. Stutler 

The AVID Leadership Council (ALC) is pleased to announce the Teacher of the Month for October, Dr. J.D. Stutler. 

Dr. Stutler teaches Spanish I and II DC, World History DC, English 1301/Humanities DC, and English 1302/British Literature DC at Cooper High School. Here is what his students had to say about him:

“Dr. Stutler always makes sure we understand. He goes out of his way to know we can completely understand the topic at hand. He teaches us reading strategies like marking the text, whether it be through finding sources or just reading something in class. We also use in class discussion tactics a lot. He has turned Socratic Seminars (a student-generated question driven discussion) into his own, and we use them to discuss books we read. Dr. Stutler shows so much dedication, and wants to know when we leave him that we have a future in college education. He stays late after school and always accepts questions about college or his class.” 

Thank you Dr. Stutler for your hard work and dedication to our students! 

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October: Neely Kelley

The ALC and Junior High Student Council have teamed up to select the Junior High winner for October Teacher of the Month, Mrs. Neely Kelley. Mrs. Kelley teaches 8th Grade Math at Cooper Junior High School. Here is what his students had to say about her:

“Mrs. Kelley shows she cares for her students by buying them Dairy Queen on their birthday. She also helps us break down problems. She uses WICOR strategies in class by letting her students collaborate with each other, playing Monopoly as a group, and doing a Think-Pair-Share with a partner. Her students also take notes and mark them up. She goes the extra mile by doing a Google Meets with students that are remote learners during class, and often stays after school to help students.”

Thank you Mrs. Kelley for your hard work and dedication!

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February: Emily Barton

The AVID Leadership Council (ALC) have selected their first winner, Mrs. Emily Barton. 

Mrs. Barton teaches 9th Grade Biology and AP Biology at Cooper High School. Here is what her students had to say about her:

“She is willing to help and is available before and after school. She is personal with her students, gets to know them and truly cares about them. Mrs. Barton goes out of her way to ensure our success by offering 1-on-1 tutoring, checking for understanding, and keeping us updated on missing assignments. Some of the WICOR (Writing, Inquiry, Collaboration, Organization, Reading) strategies that she uses in her classroom include collaboration on lab activities and class discussions, practice with higher level thinking questions, and organizational strategies that keep us up to date on assignments and due dates. AVID Strategies that we’ve seen her use include Brain Dumps (reviewing strategy), Marking the Text (reading strategy), Cornell Notes (note taking style), and 3-2-1 Activities (curriculum reviewing strategies). She gives helpful bellringers that review information from previous lessons, is dedicated to preparing us for our future in and out of school, gives time to edit notes and ask questions, and stays late and comes early.” 

Thank you Mrs. Barton for your dedication and hard work for our students!

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February: John B. Silman

The ALC and Junior High Student Council have teamed up to select the first junior high winner for Teacher of the Month, Mr. John B. Silman. Mr. Silman teaches 6th and 8th Grade Science at Cooper Junior High School. Here is what his students had to say about him: 

“Mr. Silman always helps us, and never makes us feel not smart. He takes control of his students, asks us about our day and how we are, helps us, and offers corrections. He also offers change when we need it, and prepares us and keeps us on top of things. Some of the WICOR (Writing, Inquiry, Collaboration, Organization, Reading) strategies that he uses are collaboration in group work, weekly binder checks to keep us organized, book work, and highlighting notes. AVID Strategies that we’ve seen him use include the Focused Note-Taking process with highlights, and collaboration in lab activities. Mr. Silman goes the extra mile by explaining things and making you feel comfortable when asking questions. We appreciate the way he uses bellringers, uses plenty of examples when he is teaching to make us understand, and talks about our lives/days. He is always willing to come early or stay late to help us.”

Thank you Mr. Silman for your dedication and hard work for our students!