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Great teachers deserve recognition

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By The Staff

The Lancaster County School District’s Celebrate Great Teaching Award presentations didn’t have the fanfare of past events, but nonetheless four outstanding educators were duly honored for their wonderful work.

In recent years, the recipients were saluted during a special assembly in front of their peers to launch the new school term.

This year, district officials still opted to honor the teachers, but the ceremony, as part of a cost-cutting measure with a furlough day, wasn’t held.

Still, outstanding work in education can’t be overlooked and wasn’t. District officials made presentations to each winning teacher at their schools on Aug. 10.

And during an Aug. 24 school board meeting, district officials saluted all four distinguished educators for their work with our youth.

More than 220 district teachers were nominated for the awards by students, parents, teachers and administrators. A selection committee had the daunting challenge of visiting the classes of those nominated and interviewing the nominees to determine winners.

The winners are: Wendy Bartell of Buford Middle School, where she is a literacy coach; Benjamin Hingle of A.R. Rucker Middle School, where he teaches band and chorus; Sandra Ovalles of Lancaster High School, where she teaches Spanish; and Kristal Salyer, a fourth-grade teacher at Clinton Elementary School.

Salyer was the coveted overall and elementary school winner, while Bartell earned the middle school honor. Hingle was the top beginning teacher and Ovalles was the high school winner.

A closer look at each winner reveals a dedicated teacher making an impact on students in a special way each day. Literacy is a key to educational success. Spanish will play a major role for youth in their education and future. Music is a key component in building all-important math skills. A fourth-grade teacher plays a vital role for an elementary school student moving forward in their early education career.

Each teacher makes a special contribution to their school in the way they perform their duties throughout the school year. That’s the reason they are among the district’s elite.

“These teachers represent hundreds of great teachers who daily touch the lives of so many children in our district,” Lancaster County School District superintendent Dr. Gene Moore said. “We are proud to recognize these teachers and the other nominees.”

The event to honor these teachers’ work might not have had the fanfare of past winners, but what they do for county education still speaks highly of what the award celebrates – great teachers.

Congratulations on awards most deserving.