District Teachers of the Year
Salt Lake City School District is pleased to announce its District Teachers of the Year. Three teachers were selected for three different awards: District Teacher of the Year, Special Education Teacher of the Year, and Early Childhood Teacher of the Year. Nominations were accepted from parents, students, staff members, and fellow teachers. Each nomination was reviewed by a committee of community members, district employees, and members of the Salt Lake Education Foundation Board of Trustees.
And the winners are...
District Teacher of the Year – Erin Newsome
Erin has dedicated her teaching career to the unique challenges and opportunities of an alternative school community. Erin is a third-generation teacher serving at-risk youth at Horizonte Instruction and Training Center. Her mother and grandmother both taught at Horizonte and as a result, Erin grew up believing that all students deserve a quality education, especially the most vulnerable. Erin is a fierce advocate for her students.
Erin works tirelessly to bring her students opportunities for future success. She diligently works with her students to prepare them for college and/or vocational training as they desire. Erin works closely with Horizonte's scholarship advisors and the Salt Lake Community College First Year Experience team to better prepare Horizonte graduates for college and technical education success. Many of Erin's students are the first in their family to attend college.
Special Education Teacher of the Year – Kelly Bowerman
Kelly currently works as a K-2 behavior support class teacher at Emerson Elementary. Kelly inspires her students to achieve the behavioral and academic goals she has set for them by providing encouragement, reinforcement, and love every step of the way. Students learn to recognize their emotional state and utilize the coping techniques she teaches them to improve their mood, attitude, and classroom behavior. Kelly’s classroom culture promotes growth, positives, and celebrating student successes.
Kelly inspires those around her. She is a collaborative team member and works closely with general education teachers to facilitate her students working in a general education settings. Kelly is always pushing kids to participate with their non-disabled peers and to generalize all that they have learned in her setting.
Early Childhood Teacher of the Year – Silvia Vences
Silvia supports the development and learning of families and their three-year-old children in her classes at the Mt. View/Glendale Community Learning Center. She welcomes families and their children (in English and Spanish) into the classroom with her warm smile and cheerful voice and the learning for all begins. Using gentle words and actions, Silvia empowers children and adults to engage in hands-on learning.
Silvia develops school, family, and community partnerships by visiting families in their homes and providing community group connections at many school sites. Silvia translates monthly classroom connection newsletters into Spanish and is a liaison for the numerous refugee and non-English speaking families involved in the Early Childhood programs. She guides parent orientation, conducts family/student conferences where families set goals, and guides Spanish speaking parents through the school registration process. Silvia willingly lends a helping hand, but also recognizes the strengths of others and asks for help when she needs it.
Congratulations to these three fantastic teachers!