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2012-13 Crystal Apple by the Brush News-Tribune

2012-13 Crystal Apple by the Brush News-Tribune

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Published by Brush News Tribune
Recognizing Excellence In Education in the Brush School District...
Recognizing Excellence In Education in the Brush School District...

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Published by: Brush News Tribune on May 10, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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By Maggie Christensen
Special to the Brush News-Tribune
Before school, duringschool, during lunch, as wellas after school, you canalways hear the sound of students’ laughter eruptingfrom Maria Chacon’s class-room.Chacon, who has taughtSpanish at Brush HighSchool over the past four years, has been known forher strong connection withher students and cheerfulpersonality.She had not alwaysplanned to become a teacherthough.When she was little sheplanned to become a nurseand started college in thenursing program. It was notuntil she started volunteer-ing at a non-profit afterschool program she discov-ered her true passion. Theinteraction with the childrenat the program sparked anew dream and she set off tobecome a teacher.Chacon started her school-ing in Santa Monica,California. On a trip to visither mother she discoveredBrush and instantly fell inlove with it. She enjoyed thesmall town and felt it wouldbe the perfect environmentfor her and her husband toraise their son, Joshua. They then moved toColorado, she became anassistant ESL teacher atBrush Middle School whereshe remained for three years. Then after she fin-ished her college and gradu-ated with a bachelor degreein Spanish with an empha-sis in secondary teaching,she was then hired at BrushHigh School.In her first year at BHSshe taught speech and ESL classes. Her second year shetaught ESL classes andSpanish, with her third andfourth year spent teachingSpanish 1, 2, 3 and 4.She enjoys teaching herSpanish classes, because asshe mentioned “I get toshare my culture; I was bornand lived in Mexico City until we moved when I was14. Culture is very impor-tant to me.”She enjoys providing herstudents with the knowledgeof other cultures andemphasizes knowing a for-eign language opens upmany doors for job opportu-nities. She most enjoys shar-ing something about her cul-ture and when her studentsreply, “You used to do that?”with amazement written allover their faces. The Crystal Apple awardwinner also has dedicatedher time to the LatinoLeadership Club andInternational Travel Club.She first started the LatinoLeadership Club because feltthere were many students
Maria Chacon...Brush High School
Sharing her culture is important to Spanish teacher 
2012-13 Crystal Apple 
Recognizing Excellence In Education in the Brush School District...
Children are the world's most valuable resource and it's best hope for the future." John F. Kennedy 
Maggie Christensen/News-Tribune
Dedicated Spanish teacher, Maria Chacon, helps Laura Lynch understand a challengingconcept in Spanish 1.
SeeChaconpage 8
By Katie Collins
Brush News-Tribune Staff Writer 
For some, teaching is sim-ply another job. To others itis an outlet through whichlives can be changed andpassions ignited.For Brush Middle Schoolsixth grade language artsinstructor Dorothy Dick,education is this and more.For her, every day is anadventure.“Like many teachers,Dorothy gives selflessly of her time,” wrote fellow sixthgrade teacher Brian Singley.“What makes her special isthe time she dedicates tobuilding positive relation-ships with her studentswhile holding them to highstandards for work andbehavior.”“I try to encourage them toexplore different types of reading and writing and tostep out of their comfortzone, so they can see whatthey can do instead of always looking at what they can’t do,” said Dorothy.A 1990 graduate of BrushHigh School and Beetdiggerthrough and through, thisBrush born-and-raisedteacher began her career ineducation by attendingNortheastern Junior Collegewhere she received anAssociate of Arts degreebefore earning herBachelor’s in Elementary Education, with an empha-sis on Social Sciences at theUniversity of NorthernColorado.Dorothy then went on toearn her Master’s in EnglishLanguageDevelopmentfrom the University of Colorado-Boulder beforereturning to her roots inBrush.When asked if she hadalways wanted to be ateacher, Dorothy responded,“I think I did,” with a remi-niscing smile. “I’ve alwaysworked with kids and Itaught swim lessons for years. When I went to col-lege, I realized teachingwould be a great fit for me.”“First and foremost,Dorothy is an outstandingteacher,” said fellow BMSteacher Lisa Uhrig of her col-league. “Each year studentsin her classes show growthon both state assessmentsand NWEA tests becauseDorothy knows how to moveher students to the nextlevel. She works hard to planmotivating, grade-appropri-ate lessons and she makeslearning fun.”Singley concurs, noting of Dorothy, “Her work ethichas consistently returnedsome of the highest CSAPscores in the district, butshealsomakes time forher coworkersand isalways willing to lend ahand. As a teacher, she iswhat many professionalsstrive to be.”For Dorothy, exposing herstudents to the outsideworld is one way she’s con-nected.“I try to get them to see dif-ferent places and culturesother than Brush throughtheir reading and writing,”noted Dorothy.According to Uhrig, thestudents enjoy Dorothy aswell. “Students enjoy herhumor and they enjoy herclass,” said Uhrig, “becauseshe truly enjoys teachingdynamic, ever-changingsixth graders.But her dedication doesnot stop when the bell rings.
Dorothy Dick...Brush Middle School
Dedication and drive define passion for teaching 
Katie Collins/News-Tribune
BMS Sixth Grade Teacher Dorothy Dick, a 2013 Crystal Apple Award winner, helps sixthgrade student Emily Lawler at BMS.
page 8
By Katie Collins
Brush News-Tribune Staff Writer 
“A teacher is a lot like a coach,”noted Beaver Valley fifth gradeteacher Marcia Petterson. “You’rejust preparing them for tests and forlife outside of school,” and sheshould know.As the mother of three Beetdiggerboys, most of this 26-year teachingveteran’s free time is spent chasingher own children to their sportingevents.“Marcia is the consummate teamplayer,” wrote nominators JamiDewey, Lacey Hastings, DonnaLynch, Joyce Sperry and TheresaSchaffer. “In the past three years,Marcia has taught three grade levels.She did not hesitate to changegrades each year as that was whatthe school needed. Each year, ineach grade, her students showedexcellent academic growth and hercaring, kind and understanding way with children and adults is remark-able.”For Petterson, who grew up aKansas native in Marysville beforeattending Emporia State University in her home state to earn a B.S. inEducation, teaching not only runs inthe family, but was something shehad always saw herself enjoying.“Yes, I had wanted to be a teachersince the time I was little,” remi-nisced Petterson, whose husbandBob Petterson serves asSuperintendent for Weldon Valley Schools until he retires in 2013.“Back in those days, at the end of the year we could take the schoolbooks back home and I would play school all summer long," she remi-nisced.Petterson first began her careerteaching special education and sixthgrade in Wamego, Kansas, beforemaking the move to Wray where shespent 11 years as an instructor,teaching Title I reading and math aswell as third grade.In 2002, when the couple moved toBrush, she continued teaching thirdgrade but with a large class of near-ly 130, was asked to move on withmany of those students to bothfourth and then fifth grades, makingher 26-year-long career full of vari-ety.“I love my job most because it isalways fresh and changing, nevercan't,” said Petterson. “You alwayshave a fresh start and new classeach year and at the root of that isthe fact that I often have to evolveand change, and I enjoy that dynam-ic.”When it comes to her class, thereis one motto that Petterson has reit-erated so often that students canfinish the sentiment.“I tell them all the time, ‘Do theright thing’ and they finish the latterhalf, ‘Because it’s the right thing todo’,” noted Petterson. “I follow thatup with lessons in being honest andrespectful.”Although her three sons BJ, a for-mer Marine working at the BrushGrocery Kart, Alec, a sophomore atBHS and Jeron, an eighth grader atBMS, all keep Petterson quite preoc-cupied, she does find time on rareoccasions for hobbies such assewing, quilting and hand crafts.Also, she spends a great deal of 
Marcia Petterson...Beaver Valley Elementary School
Team tactics and tenacity helps students soar 
page 8
Katie Collins/News-Tribune
Preparing students for test and ‘life outside of school’ is what Pettersonand the team at Beaver Valley Elementary School strive for.

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