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ALC's Teacher of the Month Contest

The AVID Leadership Council (ALC), led by President Harmoni Whitaker 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! 

Judy Falls
Rebecca Castorena
Jenny Folmar

ALC’s HS Teacher of the Month- December

Judy Falls

The AVID Leadership Council (ALC), led by President Harmoni Whitaker and directed by Mrs. Jacie Ballard, is pleased to announce the Teacher of the Month for December. 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. 

From this rubric, the ALC has selected their December winner, Mrs. Judy Falls. 

Mrs. Falls teaches Dual Credit US History and Government at Cooper High School, and assists with One Act Play. Here is what her students had to say about her:

“Mrs. Falls shows that she cares about her students by helping tutor students who are struggling, giving time to study, and being very supportive. She also gives crackers to students during class so they can focus and aren’t hungry. She uses WICOR strategies in her classroom as well, including giving a folder to contain all of her work (O: Organization), asking group questions (I: Inquiry), teaching us how to write an essay (W: Writing), allowing study groups (C: Collaboration), and making reading fun by taking field trips about the things we learn about. Mrs. Falls also uses AVID strategies such as collaborative games like Family Feud and Quizlets to study, and teaches us how to take notes from a lecture. She goes the extra mile by proving her dedication to student success through multiple avenues, showing her willingness to help students be successful, giving extra credit options, reaching out if you are failing, and calling and checking on you.” 

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

ALC’s HS Teacher of the Month- January 

Rebecca Castorena

The AVID Leadership Council (ALC), led by President Harmoni Whitaker and directed by Mrs. Jacie Ballard, is pleased to announce the Teacher of the Month for January. 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. 

From this rubric, the ALC has selected their January winner, Mrs. Rebecca Castorena. 

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

“Mrs. Castorena shows that she cares about her students by checking on people when they are having a bad day, and offering to talk with students if they need it. She is very welcoming and open to answering questions. She uses WICOR strategies in her classroom as well, including having groups write questions to study (I: Inquiry), writing essays to improve writing skills (W: Writing), annotating stories and notes (W: Writing)(R: Reading), and allowing group work (C: Collaboration). Mrs. Castorena also uses AVID strategies such as the 6 steps of annotating a text, Philosophical Chairs discussions, and making her own Focused Notes. She goes the extra mile by bringing snacks and breakfast for us and staying late for OAP practice. She also always finds resources to help with the play and reads everyone’s essay before she grades it to make sure everything is correct.” 

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

ALC’s HS Teacher of the Month- February 

Jenny Folmar

The AVID Leadership Council (ALC), led by President Harmoni Whitaker and directed by Mrs. Jacie Ballard, is pleased to announce the Teacher of the Month for February. 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. 

From this rubric, the ALC has selected their February winner, Mrs. Jenny Folmar. 

Mrs. Folmar teaches American Sign Language at Cooper High School. Here is what her students had to say about her:

“Mrs. Folmar shows that she cares about her students by giving snacks and explaining work one-on-one. She is lenient but also has boundaries she expects you to follow, and is very kind and has a good heart. She uses WICOR strategies in her classroom as well, including writing, creating study cards (W: Writing), asking questions about real life events and making sure everyone can relate (I: Inquiry), group and partner work (C: Collaboration), and gives important dates for you to put in your planner and time to organize your binder (O: Organization). Mrs. Folmar also uses AVID strategies such as collaboration projects and games, and brings in deaf guest speakers from the community. She goes the extra mile by bringing snacks, staying late and coming early, and understanding the importance of mental health.” 

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

Daniel Smith
John Silman
Deanne Dial

ALC/STUCO’s JH Teacher of the Month- December

Daniel Smith

The ALC and Junior High Student Council (led by Mr. Derrick Robinson) have teamed up to select the Junior High winner for December Teacher of the Month, Mr. Daniel Smith. Mr. Smith teaches 6th Grade Social Studies at Cooper Junior High School. Here is what his students had to say about him:

“Mr. Smith shows he cares about us by joking around with us. He uses WICOR strategies by helping us take Focused Notes (W: Writing) and we use those notes to prepare for quizzes and tests. He also spends a lot of time on test reviews to prepare us for our tests (C: Collaboration). He goes the extra mile by allowing us to retest if we didn’t do well the first time.” 

Thank you Mr. Smith for your hard work and dedication!

ALC/STUCO’s JH Teacher of the Month- January

John B. Silman

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

“Mr. Silman shows she cares by giving us change when we need it, and making sure we have everything we need to keep throughout the day. He uses WICOR strategies by helping us take Focused Notes (W: Writing) and giving us time to mark up our notes (O: Organization). He also has us keep a journal of our daily objectives to remember what we’ve learned (W: Writing, O: Organization). We also do cool projects in his class (C: Collaboration). He goes the extra mile by going out of his way to make sure we understand things.” 

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

ALC/STUCO’s JH Teacher of the Month- February

Deanne Dial

The ALC and Junior High Student Council (led by Mr. Derrick Robinson) have teamed up to select the Junior High winner for February Teacher of the Month, Mrs. Deanne Dial. Mrs. Dial teaches 6th Grade Math at Cooper Junior High School. Here is what her students had to say about her:

“Coach Dial shows she cares by allowing us to come in 9th period for some extra help. She uses WICOR strategies by helping us take Focused Notes (W: Writing) and giving us bell ringers to stay organized and remember what we’ve learned (O: Organization). She uses fun activities that help us learn better (C: Collaboration). She goes the extra mile by planning fun things for us to learn so that math is more fun and interesting.” 

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

ALC’s HS Teacher of the Month- November

Cindy Dillard

The AVID Leadership Council (ALC), led by President Harmoni Whitaker and directed by Mrs. Jacie Ballard, is pleased to announce the Teacher of the Month for November. 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. 

From this rubric, the ALC has selected their November winner, Mrs. Cindy Dillard. 

Mrs. Dillard teaches accounting, financial math, BIM, and digital media at Cooper High School. Here is what her students had to say about her:

“Mrs. Dillard shows that she cares about her students by going out of her way to tell students what they are missing. She is very understanding with personal issues, and she offers students a quiet environment to get school work done. She uses WICOR strategies in her classroom as well, including teaching goal setting and time management (O: Organization), assigning books and notes to annotate (R: Reading) (W: Writing), and group work including peer reviews (C: Collaboration). Mrs. Dillard also uses AVID strategies such as the Focused Note Taking Process over articles and other notes, and helps us plan for college and fill out a resume. She goes the extra mile by answering questions in depth, printing photos for student projects, and taking photos for our yearbook. She also takes time to get to know her students, and hangs up college acceptance posters for seniors.” 

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

ALC/STUCO’s JH Teacher of the Month- November

Pam Furtch 

The ALC and Junior High Student Council (led by Mr. Derrick Robinson) have teamed up to select the Junior High winner for November Teacher of the Month, Mrs. Pam Furtch. Mrs. Furtch teaches 8th Grade History at Cooper Junior High School. Here is what her students had to say about her:

“Mrs. Furtch shows she cares by helping us when we don’t understand a question. She uses WICOR strategies by helping us take Cornell Notes (W: Writing) and giving us time to mark up our notes (O: Organization). She also lets us ask questions and do activities like Kahoot and having debates (C: Collaboration). She goes the extra mile by giving us time to edit our notes and ask questions.” 

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

Preston Compton
Sam Falls
Kassidy Compton

ALC/STUCO’s JH Teacher of the Month- August

Preston Compton

The ALC and Junior High Student Council (led by Mr. Derrick Robinson) have teamed up to select the Junior High winner for August Teacher of the Month, Mr. Preston Compton. Mr. Compton teaches Life Skills and coaches at Cooper Junior/Senior High School. Here is what his students had to say about him:

“Mr. Compton shows he cares by helping the students with their work and helping them understand what they are doing. He uses WICOR strategies when he gives Focused Notes (W: Writing), and has students work in groups (C: Collaboration). He also does Philosophical Chairs activities with his class. When someone has trouble he helps them, and lets them make notecards to help them on tests.” 

Thank you Mr. Compton for your hard work and dedication!

ALC/STUCO’s JH Teacher of the Month- September

Sam Falls

The ALC and Junior High Student Council (led by Mr. Derrick Robinson) have teamed up to select the Junior High winner for September Teacher of the Month, Mr. Sam Falls. Mr. Falls teaches 7th Grade Science and History at Cooper Junior High School. Here is what his students had to say about him:

“Mr. Falls shows he cares by providing us with extra help and examples when we are confused. He uses WICOR strategies when he puts us into groups to collaborate on projects (C: Collaboration). We take focused notes in his class, and we refer back to them when we need them. He goes the extra mile by giving us extra time for make-up work.” 

Thank you Mr. Falls for your hard work and dedication!

ALC/STUCO’s JH Teacher of the Month- October

Kassidy Compton

The ALC and Junior High Student Council (led by Mr. Derrick Robinson) have teamed up to select the Junior High winner for October Teacher of the Month, Mrs. Kassidy Compton. Mrs. Compton teaches 7th Grade ELAR at Cooper Junior High School. Here is what her students had to say about her:

“Mrs. Compton shows she cares by allowing extra time to complete work. She uses WICOR strategies when she allows us to take Focused Notes when we are reading a novel (W: Writing) (R: Reading). She has taught us the whole process of focused note-taking, and we take notes over each chapter we read. She goes the extra mile by doing helpful reviews for assignments, and gives us opportunities to ask questions.” 

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

 

ALC’s HS Teacher of the Month- October

Ashleigh Hinshaw

The AVID Leadership Council (ALC), led by President Harmoni Whitaker and directed by Mrs. Jacie Ballard, is pleased to announce the Teacher of the Month for October. 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. From this rubric, the ALC has selected their October winner, Ms. Ashleigh Hinshaw. Ms. Hinshaw teaches geometry and coaches softball at Cooper High School. Here is what her students had to say about her:

“Ms. Hinshaw shows that she cares about her students by helping make sure students fully understand lessons. She uses WICOR strategies in her classroom as well, including writing focused notes (W: Writing), making sure students fill out planners (O: Organization) and group work (C: Collaboration). Ms. Hinshaw also uses AVID strategies such as the Focused Note Taking Process, and organizes academic scavenger hunts. She goes the extra mile by working one-on-one with students so they understand the material, and gives extra credit opportunities.” 

Thank you Ms. Hinshaw for your dedication and hard work for our students!

 

ALC’s HS Teacher of the Month- September

Jackie Blassingame

The AVID Leadership Council (ALC), led by President Harmoni Whitaker and directed by Mrs. Jacie Ballard, is pleased to announce the Teacher of the Month for September. 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. From this rubric, the ALC has selected their September winner, Mrs. Jackie Blassingame. Mrs. Blassingame teaches a variety of health science classes at Cooper High School. Here is what her students had to say about her:

“Mrs. Blassingame shows that she cares about her students by treating everyone with kindness and making sure her students are okay. She uses WICOR strategies in her classroom as well, including writing focused notes (W: Writing), reading and annotating (R: Reading), making sure binders are organized (O: Organization) and group work (C: Collaboration). Mrs. Blassingame also does engaging AVID activities such as Philosophical Chairs over medical issues and organizing academic scavenger hunts. She goes the extra mile by providing helpful bellringers, always making sure everyone understands the material, and providing lots of hands-on activities.” 

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

ALC’s HS Teacher of the Month- August

 

J.D. Stutler    

 

The AVID Leadership Council (ALC), led by President Harmoni Whitaker and directed by Mrs. Jacie Ballard, is pleased to announce the Teacher of the Month for August. 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. 

From this rubric, the ALC has selected their August winner, Dr. J.D. Stutler. 

Dr. Stutler teaches a variety of classes, including World History, Spanish, Humanities, and British Literature at Cooper High School. Here is what his students had to say about him:

“Dr. Stutler shows that he cares about his students by giving extra time for missed days and assignments, and is understanding about those things. He makes sure everyone is having a good day. He uses WICOR strategies in his classroom as well, including writing journals (W: Writing), reading and annotating (R: Reading), and group work/class discussions (C: Collaboration). Dr. Stutler also does engaging activities such as AVID Jigsaws and playing games for memorization. He goes the extra mile by staying late for students and giving extra time for asking questions with in-depth answers in return.” 

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

 

ALC’s HS Teacher of the Month- December

Sharon Johnson

The ALC has selected their December winner, Mrs. Sharon Johnson. Mrs. Johnson teaches Algebra at Cooper High School. Here is what her students had to say about her: “Mrs. Johnson always makes sure you understand what she is teaching. She spends time with students one-on-one at their desk to make sure you got it down. She has water available for students in her classroom. She is very patient and makes sure everyone understands the lesson. Mrs. Johnson always says “Hi” to students she passes in the hallways, even if they aren’t in her class. She sets up time for tutoring if you don’t understand and designs her lesson plans for maximum learning to occur. We are given and taught how to use Cornell Notes, and she makes sure that you are doing them like you should be, and makes sure you are going back over them and reviewing them to really learn the content. She also helps you write a summary of your ntoes. We also like how she includes a big collaborative group project with her classes. Mrs. Johnson lets us collaborate with our peer if we don’t understand it, and we can put it in simpler terms that might help someone better understand. She usually does a large graphing project with her students and hangs them in the hall for everyone to see. Students also use stations to help each other solve math problems. She helps us get our notes organized and helps us keep them in order within each unit of study. Mrs. Johnson also has helpful bell ringers that review the previous topic that was learned, and she is dedicated to helping her students succeed. She is one of the first cars here in the morning, and is willing to stay late to help anyone that needs it. She goes the extra mile by being there for her students, and she makes you feel welcome and unique and will answer any questions you have, not only about Algebra.”

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

ALC and STUCO’s JH Teacher of the Month- December

Joey Chastain

The ALC and JH STUCO has teamed up to select the JH winner for December, Mr. Joey Chastain. Mr. Chastain teaches 7th Grade Math and coaches at Cooper Junior High. Here is what his students had to say about him: “Coach Chastain shows he cares for us by giving us extra help when needed. He tutors us at lunch or after school when we are falling behind. He uses WICOR strategies in class by giving daily journals that we use as focused notes (W: Writing), helping us take daily notes that help us remember rules/strategies for different math problems (W: Writing), and lets us collaborate in groups to help each other out (C: Collaboration). It’s helpful to hear things from another student sometimes. He goes the extra mile by staying late after school sometimes for us when we are having trouble with our work.”

Thank you Coach Chastain for your hard work and dedication!

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! 

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!

 

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!