Tuesday, June 9, 2015
Award-winning VUHS teacher Roberta Steponaitis and senior student Nathan North of Vergennes (center), who nominated her for the Clarkson University honor. University Vice President Kathryn B. Johnson is pictured right.
Vergennes — Vergennes Union High School teacher Roberta Steponaitis of Vergennes, was awarded Clarkson University’s Inspirational High School Educator Award on May 8. Steponaitis was honored at a special dinner the night before commencement and during the commencement ceremony the following day.
Presenting the award to Steponaitis were graduating senior Nathan North of Vergennes, who nominated her for the award, and Vice President for University Outreach & Student Affairs Kathryn B. Johnson.
Each year, Clarkson seniors are invited to nominate a secondary school educator whom they feel has had a significant effect on their lives and helped guide their higher education decisions and career pursuits.The award recognizes these educators for their influential and lasting impact on their students and in their field of education
2014 Outstanding Teachers of the Year(left to right) Michele Kelly, ACS Board Chair; Sheryl Thurber, ACS Literacy Teacher; Matthew DeBlois, ACS Principal; Sandra Chicoine, VUHS Drivers Education Teacher; Stephanie Taylor, VUHS Principal
Sheryl Thurber (ACS)
Sheryl is a teacher who puts children’s needs first and always has their best interest in mind. She spends countless hours helping every student in our school learn how to read and write. She is able to encourage a hesitant reader and move them forward even when it is not an easy task to complete. There are children who do not enjoy reading and somehow she finds a way to help them become successful readers. This takes a special talent, and someone who is very committed. She is also able to challenge some of the other students whom love to read and empowers them to reach new heights by sparking new interest and putting challenging text in their hands.
As a colleague she is willing to help all of the teachers in the building. It does not have to just be in reading either. She is willing to cover a recess or lunch duty so teachers can complete a task that otherwise may not get done, or meet with students, or go to a class. She is willing to meet before or after the school day starts or ends. She is a great advocate for teachers and is the Grievance rep. for our school and is also on the negotiating team as well. Above all of this she has worked hard trying to help gain a preschool at our school and made sure that we have had a summer school program in Addison so that students would be able to continue learning that may otherwise not be possible during the summer months.
She has served on many different committees such as the District Writing committee, the Leadership Team at Addison School, the Literacy Team and she has helped with professional development for the district as well.
Sandra Chicoine (VUHS)
Sandy is an exceptional teacher that is closely connected to students, both individually and as a group. She is a very caring and compassionate person and students realize that. Sandy makes connections with students that other teachers only dream about making. She listens to them, supports them, and advocates for them.
An argument can be made that Driver’s Education classes are pretty cut and dry, but Sandy keeps the students captivated, engaged and participating. She is not afraid to make tough decisions if it is in the best interest of the student and/or community. She goes above and beyond personally and professionally.