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Teacher Appreciation Day offers an important opportunity to recognize the valuable contributions teachers make in the lives of students. The role of an online educator is truly unique! They facilitate live class sessions, support their students through one-on-one virtual meetings, emails and phone calls, sponsor student clubs and coordinate in-person activities. They help families and Learning Coaches navigate online school, and support their peers in professional growth.

In support of Teach360’s mission to build a culture of excellence around our educators, this year marks the first-ever K12 Teach360 Teacher Awards! The teachers recognized in each category have demonstrated an unwavering commitment to offering their students a high-quality online education, to supporting families, and to serving as mentors and partners to their colleagues.

Join us in congratulating the 2018 winners!

Live Instruction/Class Connect Award: Beth Vasquez, Social Studies, Destinations Career Academy of Colorado

Beth demonstrates excellence in delivering live instruction via ClassConnect sessions. Her live sessions are well-organized, demonstrate command of the technical tools and include visible engagement from students. Beth has been with K12 since 2011.

Finalist: Katie Wheeler, Arkansas Virtual Academy

Family Engagement & Partnership Award: Dean Johnson, Career and Technical Education, Cyber Academy of South Carolina (CASC)

Dean demonstrates excellence in partnering with students and families to deliver a high-quality personalized education. There is evidence of a deep and ongoing partnership between Dean and CASC’s Learning Coaches. This is Dean’s first year with CASC.

Finalists: Kim Wary, Arkansas Virtual Academy; Cassie Asay, Utah Virtual Academy

Student Achievement Award: Lisa Faulkner, Algebra, Michigan Virtual Charter Academy (MVCA)

Lisa demonstrates excellence in academic achievement in all aspects of her classes. She uses both synchronous and asynchronous methods to demonstrate the broad achievement of all students in her class. This is Lisa’s 5th year at MVCA.

Finalists: Tessa Challenger, Cyber Academy of South Carolina; TaMerra Hight, Utah Virtual Academy; Joseline Martinez, Texas Virtual Academy

Peer Leadership & Mentorship Award: Amanda O’Brien, High School Mentor for Beginning Teachers and High School American History Teacher, North Carolina Virtual Academy (NCVA)

Amanda demonstrates excellence in her ability to support her peers. She naturally takes on mentorship roles as a leader at NCVA. Amanda has been with NCVA since it opened in 2015, and this is her fourth year supporting beginning teachers.

Finalists: Lacy Spears, Hoosier Academies; Amy Bruce, Highpoint Virtual Academy of Michigan; Jenny Wilson, Utah Virtual Academy; Cris Bauer, Idaho Virtual Academy

Optimizing & Personalizing K12 Systems Award: Crystal Hatcher, Middle and High School English, Insight School of Ohio

Crystal demonstrates excellence in her ability to modify, personalize and optimize K12 systems to the benefit of her students. In particular, Crystal maximizes personalization in the Online Middle School and Online High School in unique ways. This is Crystal’s second year with K12.

Finalists: Amber Bundy, Utah Virtual Academy; Cynthia Mayo, Alabama Virtual Academy; Erin Landry, Louisiana Virtual Charter Academy

New K12 Teacher of the Year Award: Tamara Walters, Middle School Math, Insight School of Kansas and Kansas Virtual Academy

Tamara demonstrates excellence in her first year of teaching in a K12-powered classroom in a variety of aspects, including synchronous instruction, asynchronous instruction and family communication. Tamara joined K12 in July of 2017.

Finalists: Terri Griffin, Utah Virtual Academy; Chelsy Billips, Highpoint Virtual Academy of Michigan; Amy Botz, Idaho Virtual Academy

Thank you to all of the K12-powered teachers who support our mission to transform learning for students served!

About The Author

Emily Riordan

Emily Riordan joined Stride as Senior Manager, Corporate Communications in July 2017. Prior to joining the team, Emily was a founding staff member at the U.S. Green Building Council’s Center for Green Schools, working with school stakeholders across the country to advocate for healthy, safe and sustainable schools. Emily has also worked with the District of Columbia charter school movement, assisting with charter applications, development and advocacy efforts. Originally from a small town in Massachusetts, Emily has lived in the DC area for half her life, having earned her bachelor’s degree in English at the George Washington University in 2004.

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