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FBE Announces 2015 Outstanding Teachers of the Year

date 4/16/2015
tag FBE

Outstanding Teachers of the Year Awards 2015

by Krys Murphy,

The school day began in a typical way with no hint of surprise in the air. What unfolded was anything but typical for the teachers who are the recipients of the first annual Outstanding Teacher of the Year Awards, a new annual event from the Foundation for Belmont Education. The teachers were surprised at their schools on April 15 with flowers, balloons and a poster with their name on it presented by FBE President Jamie Shea, FBE members and Belmont Public Schools Superintendent John Phelan. 

The 2015 recipients are Katie Caritey, Burbank Grade Two; Audrey Ruddock, Butler Kindergarten; Steven Tenhor, Wellington Grade Four; Danielle Pandolfo, Winn Brook Grade Three; Ben Ligon, Chenery Grade Six Math; and Suzanne Lijek, Belmont High School Science-Biology. Katie Caritey was not at the Burbank on this day. She will be awarded on a separate occasion. 

Suzanne Lijek receiving an award fro Superintendent John PhelanThe FBE started the recognition program because they wanted to acknowledge the many talented and dedicated teachers working for the Belmont Public Schools. “We didn’t want the event to be a fundraiser, we wanted it to be a feel-good event for the community,” says Jamie Shea. “The best part of Belmont Public Schools is the faculty, and I think we should take every opportunity to honor them and recognize all the good work they do.” 

The first stop was Belmont High School, and the first award went to Suzanne Lijek who was surprised in the Belmont High School Main Office surrounded by Administration, staff and students followed by thundering applause upon her entrance. Once the shock wore off, Lijek said, “This means so much to me, I am very humbled, thank you so much.” 

At Butler, Audrey Ruddock kept repeating, “Are you kidding me?” and at Wellington after a student announced recipient Steven Tenhor’s name over the loudspeaker, cheers and applause bellowed through the halls. 

The presentation at Chenery wound up being a surprise for the award givers when a fire drill had Ben Ligon’s math classes outside present for his awarding. “Thank you, Chenery is a great school and the students in the school are great,” says Lignon. “I am one of many teachers, co-workers, and parents who put in great efforts, thank you.” 

Ben Ligon receiving an award from FBE Jamie SheaThe selection process began early April after community members, colleagues and high school students submitted nomination papers for a deserving teacher. More than 100 nominations for all six schools were submitted. A committee comprised of FBE board members reviewed the nominations and selected one winner per school. To be eligible, teachers must have completed three consecutive years teaching at BPS and be currently teaching at BPS; they must teach students on a regular basis (40 percent of the time); and they must be aware of and in agreement with the nomination. 

The nominees also must be teachers and had to meet most of the following criteria; instill in students the desire to learn/achieve; understand the individual needs of students, encourages their talents and fosters their self-esteem; demonstrates a thorough knowledge of the subject matter and the ability to share it effectively with students; fosters cooperative relationships with colleagues and the community; demonstrates outstanding leadership; participates in school, professional, civic and/or extracurricular activities. 

Audrey Ruddock recipient of an award at Butler schoolSuperintendent Phelan said teachers often don’t get recognition for the work they do. “All of our teachers are deserving of this award,” says Phelan. “We thank the FBE for taking the time to recognize our talented staff.” 

The teachers, after the surprise announcement Wednesday, will be formally honored at a ceremony on April 30 at the Chenery Middle School from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. The award celebration, sponsored by Belmont Savings Bank, is open to the public.

FBE Outstanding teacher awards.jpg  Lijek3.jpg  Katie-Caritey-Burbank-1.jpg  Katie-Caritey-Burbank-2.JPG  Ruddock4.jpg  Ruddock3.jpg  Tenhor4.jpg  Ligon1.jpg  Ligon3.jpg  Pandolfo2.jpg