In every school, there are teachers deserving of special recognition. Since spring, Premera Blue Cross has asked the community to nominate teachers deserving recognition. We received dozens of nominations throughout King, Snohomish, and Pierce counties, but we could choose only a few.
Below are three of the teachers honored with a Premera Teacher Tribute. Each tribute included a classroom surprise, a special ceremony in their honor, $2,000 in school supplies, plus an epic Sounders game day experience with free tickets for the winning teacher’s students and their parents to attend.
Brent Allred makes a difference in the lives of students at Lake Forest Park Elementary, as a beloved special education resource room teacher. Fellow teachers, parents, and students all spoke about Allred’s dedication to giving each child individualized attention.
“He really cares about his students,” said Principal Aimee Miner who nominated Allred for the Premera Teacher Tribute. “He builds on their strengths and makes learning fun. He really digs into what kids need.”
Allred also serves as a role model for other educators at the school, inspiring them to get to know each student and his or her needs. His approach works. His students eloquently spoke of Allred’s patience and support.
“Mr. Allred made me want to come to school,” said Max, a fourth-grader. “He gives me hope.”
Megan Clark is a family liaison at Birney Elementary School in Tacoma, where she greets students and parents every morning with an energetic, “good morning, Sunshine!” or a high-five.
Clark helps make sure all students have transportation to school and something to eat for lunch, but that’s not all. She also has stepped in when a student’s shoe broke at school and helped a family when their Christmas tree was stolen.
She doesn’t just watch things happen, she gets involved, according to Dulce Rozon, the school employee who nominated Clark for the Premera Teacher Tribute. Clark gathers community members to provide opportunities for students to be successful in and out of school, she said.
Clark’s energy and dedication make an impact on the lives of her students.
“Thank you, Ms. Clark for always being there for kids that need help and just need someone to talk to,” said Camilla, a fifth-grader. “If stuff is going on at home, [students] can know that Ms. Clark will always be there for them.”
Nanette Peppin goes out of her way to support her students at Maplewood Parent Cooperative School in Edmonds, WA.
“She was my third-grade teacher five years ago, and she is still one of my biggest supporters,” Laraine Sims said. “She is always checking in on how I’m doing. She really cares about me, and I know I’m not the only kid she supports like this.”
Sims was one of two people who nominated Peppin. The other was Mary Wright, whose two children thrived in Peppin’s classroom. Peppin helped Mary's son focus his attention and helped identify a vision problem that was affecting her daughter’s performance in the classroom.
Peppin supports her students outside of the classroom, too. She attends soccer games and supports dreams—even gifting a ski jacket to a student who won a ski school scholarship. Peppin kept up her support of the kids even while going through treatment for breast cancer.
“We watched as this strong woman battled through a year of treatment, forcing her to find a substitute for part of the school year,” Wright said. “She remained involved in class, grading papers and visiting weekly with students.”
The good news is treatment went well, and Peppin returned to school with more passion than ever for her students.
Stay tuned for more stories of extraordinary teachers this fall.
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