Learners Edge Amazing Teacher Contest Winners

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Congratulations to Grand Prize Winner, Lisa Clark of Idaho and our two runners-up, Patrick Callahan of Massachusetts and Paige Norman of Alaska.

Learners Edge is pleased to announce the 2017 Amazing Teacher Contest winners and runners-up. This year's winners have one thing in common: They are anything but ordinary.

The Learners Edge Amazing Teacher contest recognizes amazing teachers that are making a difference in the lives of their students, their schools, their communities and ultimately society as a whole. "Teachers play such a critical role in the development of our youth," said Joe Cotter, Learners Edge President and CEO, "we wanted to honor three exceptional educators for their outstanding commitment to teaching and to their students."

Collectively, the nominations captured the essence of what makes a good teacher a great one — creative classroom teaching; connection with students for whom an exceptional adult role model makes all the difference; and an uncanny ability to push students beyond what they think possible.

Congratulations to Grand Prize Winner, Lisa Clark of Idaho and our two runners-up, Patrick Callahan of Massachusetts and Paige Norman of Alaska. As a Grand Prize Winner, Mrs. Clark will receive: $500 award for personal use, $500 award for her school, and an Amazing Teacher Contest award plaque. As a runner-up, Mr. Callahan and Ms. Norman will each receive: $250 cash award for personal use, and $250 cash award for their school.

Below are excerpts from our winner’s nominations which speak to the how these teachers have gone above and beyond the call of duty in unique and exceptional ways.

Lisa Clark, Elementary School Teacher, Donald D. Stalker Elementary, Blackfoot, ID

An excerpt from Mrs. Clark’s nomination:
“Mrs. Clark has made a difference in my child's life and her other students by having a genuine concern for her students. She has had an emotional year with a student whose younger sibling was diagnosed with cancer and he (Mrs. Clark’s student) was able to be a bone marrow donor for his sister. She rallied around him and organized a fundraiser for his family. She made him a shirt for being a hero and had the students and teachers sign it. She goes above and beyond and her students know they are loved.”

Patrick Callahan, 6-8 Physical Education Teacher, Hingham Middle School, Hingham, MA

An excerpt from Mr. Callahan’s nomination:
“Mr. Callahan is a typical PE teacher /coach with a short haircut and great collection of sneakers. But he's anything but typical. As a successful college football coach, he's surrounded by elite athletes, young people that have incredible physical gifts and rarely struggle with life's obstacles. But during the school day, Patrick Callahan surrounds himself with children that struggle with their academic and social worlds. He has a special and unique gift with our special needs students. In over 30 years of teaching, I've never seen a non-special needs teacher connect with students like Mr. Callahan does. Each one of these students gets a special greeting and a unique relationship with Mr. Callahan. They seek him out each morning. They truly believe they're his favorite student. The grins are ear to ear. Mr. Callahan's magic ways allows him to get the most from these kids. They run, jump and play harder for him. They feel safe, special and included. His actions are subtle yet substantial. As a veteran teacher, I look at Mr. Callahan with such amazement, his energy, his consistency, his love of teaching are all admirable qualities for teachers young and old.”

Paige Norman, Pre-School-12th grade Special Education Teacher, Nondalton School, Nondalton, Alaska

An excerpt from Ms. Norman’s nomination:
“Miss Paige has impacted her smallest student the most I believe. This student has a lot of emotional and behavioral baggage. Last year when Miss Paige began working with her there was not a day when there was not a temper-tantrum. The student did not do a lot of speaking and would hit and kick. Now this student has learned to find a "safe" area to cry. This student also now speaks in full sentence (well enough that all staff present can understand her wants and needs). She no longer cries everyday - or gets distressed.”

About Learners Edge (http://www.LearnersEdgeInc.com): Learners Edge has been committed to helping teachers reach the highest level of success in their classrooms and in their careers since 2002. Offering over 120 self-paced, continuing education courses for teachers across the country and around the world, Learners Edge is continually working towards its mission of improving the quality of teaching and learning.

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Jennifer Oelkers
Learners Edge
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