Sunday, November 28, 2010

Alaska State Teacher of the Year for 2011

Physical education teacher Susie Denton, left, and librarian Susan Sielbach hold up a quilt Wednesday made for Alaska Teacher of the Year Lorrie Heagy during an assembly. (photo: Michael Penn/Juneau Empire)
For those readers who check my blog regularly, you may have noticed that I've been delinquent in posting these past few months.  It took a reader from Germany who e-mailed me to ask if everything was okay to realize that I need to explain the reason behind my negligence, as well as get caught up on my postings pronto!   

On November 14th in Anchorage, I was awarded the Alaska State Teacher of the Year for 2011.  It has been and continues to be an incredible honor to represent Alaska's teachers, especially those from the Juneau School District whom I have benefited from working alongside these past thirteen years. 

With this honor comes incredible responsibility, and even though I continue to teach full-time, I've also been given the opportunity to attend and speak at conferences, as well as lead teacher workshops.  They have all been positive experiences, but my blog has suffered as a result.  So, I have some catching up to do. 

I'd like to start with this gift from Glacier Valley: 

Right before Thanksgiving break, the Glacier Valley staff and community surprised me with an assembly to celebrate the award. I was greeted in song and invited to sit on a stool, which was  surrounded by the entire school population.  All of the students had written letters with representatives from each grade level standing and reading their letter aloud before presenting them in beautifully bound class books. 

The photo above captures a quilt sewn by my teaching partners, Susie Denton and Susan Sielbach.  I don't know how they did it, but they managed to have every child cut and sign their name on a heart to create this beautiful gift during the school day without me noticing!  Thank you!

The Juneau Empire wrote a wonderful account of the event for their Thanksgiving issue:  Glacier Valley Cheers Heagy.  

I'd like to dedicate to Glacier Valley and the Juneau community this short iMovie that I made for our Digital Storytelling club several years ago.  It sums up how I feel about living and working in such an incredible community.  The little girl sitting between her father and older brother is me ...

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