Bolivar Primary School teacher Julie Reed is known as someone who capitalizes on every instructional moment to help students in her classroom as learners and humans.
Reed was named R-1 master teacher of the year at a district employee recognition ceremony Thursday, April 18. Since 1989, Bolivar Schools has recognized one teacher who has gone above and beyond to educate students.
“In this teacher’s classroom, there is truly never a down moment,” assistant superintendent T.C. Wall read from a nomination letter at the ceremony before Reed’s name was announced. “This teacher loves their students through the good times and the bad and demonstrates continuous patience as they overcome hurdles and struggles.”
Reed was one of five building teachers of the year nominated for the award. Jennifer Bandy, Bolivar Intermediate School; Kacey Sawyer, Bolivar Middle School; Amber Dlugosh, Bolivar High School and Darin Archer of special services were the other nominees.
Video interviews, in which students spoke about each teacher, were played before the announcement.
Before school starts each year, Reed takes special time to get to know students whose parents have expressed a concern about shyness or anxiety with starting school, according to the nomination letter.
“(She will) often invite the student and family to the classroom to get to know (her) and the room, and also sets up play dates with the family. (Reed) also invests in the students outside of school. (She tries) to attend sporting events, church celebrations and other times that students might have something special going on.”
The ceremony also recognized the district employee of the year, Donna Fast, BMS paraprofessional.
“The kids will tell you, this employee is a bright spot in their days,” superintendent Tony Berry read from Fast’s nomination letter. “This employee loves what they do, whether it is to fill in for someone, modify work so that struggling kids feel successful, or come to events the kids ask them to attend.”
Other nominees were Trish Brummell of Bolivar Primary School, Missy Wollard of Bolivar Intermediate School, Mindy Owens of Bolivar High School and Jackie Sharman of special services.
The district recognized its first-ever non-certified staff member of the year in 2014.
Since a change to its nomination process in 2014, staff members and the public nominate and vote for the top contenders from each district building.
The top vote-winning individuals from each building were recognized as building teachers and employees of the year by the district, as well as in the April 11 edition of the BH-FP.
A group of community members interviewed and selected the overall master teacher/teacher of the year and non-certified staff member of the year.
Also recognized at Friday’s service were district employees celebrating five, 10, 15, 20 and 25 years of service, as well as retirees. Retirees honored included Norma Sawyers-Kurz, Kim Ware, Beth Grabowski, Angela Gries, Judi Wall, Patti Bolton, Wanda Dunseth, Denise Weeks and Richard Wright.