LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — From young teachers who've known little of normal schooling due to the pandemic to veteran teachers who've pivoted to adapt, more than 700 Clark County School District educators were honored for their service to the district Friday at the Heart of Education Awards.
One of those veteran teachers, Spring Valley communications teacher Eric Stakley, said he's had to work through hard times for the sake of his young students.
"I've tried to give back to my students regardless of their situation," he said.
The awards came after more than two years of pandemic stressors and a rash of violence on campuses across the district.
"What I try to do is make my make my zone a safe space," Stakley said. "That way, they know when they come to my classroom no matter what is going on outside, at home, in the district, what every is going on, they don't feel that stress when they come into my four walls."
District leaders in attendance like Board Trustee Danielle Ford and Superintendent Jesus Jara said the night was a chance to step back from all of the negativity and shine a light on the people who really make a difference: dedicated teachers showing resilience through tough times.
"Educators, they don't give up on our kids," Jara said. "This is why we need to be celebrating every single day."
Stakley said he hoped, like steel in the forge's fire, that his students could take the experiences from difficult times and use them to be stronger, smarter, and go on to achieve their dreams.
"Since they made it through this, they can do whatever it is they set their mind to, that's my hope," he said.