Education Award

Thursday, April 25, 2024

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2023 Excellence in Education Award Winners

2023 Student of the Year

Thomas Doan  Mount Saint Mary High School

Thomas is an outstanding senior student who excels in all aspects of his life. He was recently named a National Merit Finalist and is a strong candidate for National Merit Scholar. More than anything, Thomas is humble. He is a gifted young man who is always willing to help others and
embodies Mount St. Mary’s mission of leading, serving, and living mercy. Thomas is the President of the Recycling Club and the Mu Alpha Theta Club, a new club that focuses on honors society and being a math-intensive organization engaged in competitions. Thomas plans to attend college and pursue a degree in biochemistry with a minor in music, utilizing the concentration’s emphasis on performance to improve his technical skills while also using the study of music as a whole to add a new dimension to medicine. His ultimate goal for the future is to be able to practice medicine as a doctor, a role that incorporates his passion for science and research. Thomas hopes to take a more active role in improving not only the health of his
patients but also the health of his community.

2023 Teacher of the Year

Rocky Dickinson Highland West Junior High

This teacher is the embodiment of a fantastic educator with a commitment to the success of their students and colleagues both inside the classroom and outside their daily responsibilities. This teacher goes above and beyond to ensure that their students are well-rounded and have the
opportunity for multiple experiences. They are even completing their school counseling
internship to further impact and help their students. Also, out of 400 people – they were selected to be part of the 15 members of the American Fidelity Teacher Fellowship program. This teacher is the ‘GO TO TEACHER’, a mentor for new teachers, and will always give an emphatic “YES!” to anything if it means that students and teachers will grow. The nominating principal
says, “Their compassion for others, eagerness to excel, and ability to bring out the best in everyone are my three favorite qualities about this individual – they make us strive to be better
leaders, colleagues, and educators.”

2023 Administrator of the Year

Hart Brown VISTA Academy

This individual is a practical innovator who has proven their ability to be flexible and adapt to changes in our world to provide options for student support structures that turn into academic success. This leader was innovative during the COVID pandemic and took the virtual learning challenge head-on, providing options for many students and families that previously did not exist. Their work was and continues to be indispensable. This individual is not just about the numbers and programmatic elements, they truly care and view every decision as something that
deeply touches every family. This administrator truly possesses a passion for what they do and they bring a positive and fun energy to the school each day. They believe the impact of relationships with students can determine their success.
Sometimes it is easy to overlook alternative programs – but their students are active and engaged. (including an established and thriving Chess Club – which teaches students how to think systematically, improve cognitive skills, pattern recognition, decision-making, problem-solving,
and critical thinking). The service that this administrator provides their district is vital and worthy of acclaim and celebration.