USD 305 Honors Teachers Of The Year
Jennifer Bradford-Vernon - Wed 09:10 AM 08/29/2012
Anne Fontes, second grade teacher at Oakdale Elementary and Anissa Bigler, English teacher at Central High School, have been selected as USD 305 Teachers of the Year. They were honored August 28, 2012 by the Salina Board of Education.
At Oakdale Elementary, it is obvious that Fontes cherishes her role in a child’s learning process and gladly accepts the responsibility of helping students reach their highest potential. She conveys high expectations, high levels of trust and acknowledges the personal value of each child. “Anne will accept any challenge you put before her,” said Carmen Flax, Oakdale Elementary principal. “I have worked with her for nearly 14 years and she continues to grow as a teacher and as a building leader.” Following Fontes’ lead, her students are motivated to do their best and encouraged to continue to develop.
Fontes’ instructional style and classroom are based on a solid framework that includes routines and procedures. There is no guesswork involved, both Fontes and her students apply themselves to their work and find clear direction in the way she leads with clarity and focus. Flax noted that Fontes is always on the lookout for ways to grow. “Even though Anne is an experienced teacher, she pushes herself to become better every year.”
At Central High School, Anissa Bigler has developed a reputation as a strong, dedicated teacher who cares about and supports individual students while pushing them to the next level. She encourages her students to apply what they’ve learned at a personal level. Bigler’s students learn about another acronym, YGP, which means, Your Greatest Power. They are reminded that choices matter, even the simple ones. The introspection and reflection help students merge new information and their point of view.
“She is masterful at incorporating relationship building and self-esteem activities into the process of learning,” said Shanna Rector, Central High School principal. Bigler’s goals for students extend beyond learning about literature and writing to appreciating and understanding themselves and others.
Each year two teachers are nominated for the Kansas Teacher of the Year program. The awards are sponsored by the Kansas State Department of Education and affiliated with the National Teacher of the Year program. For 2012, nominations were sought in the spring and a district nominee was submitted to the state in late March. Regional finalists will be named at a luncheon in their honor here in Salina, September 8. State finalists are named in November.