As part of its celebration of Teacher Appreciation Week, the Clark County School District surprised seven first-year teachers in their classrooms this week with presentations announcing that they had been selected as New Educators of the Year.
Each year, CCSD selects a New Educator of the Year for its seven teaching categories. The teachers were not aware of their selection until a group of presenters, which included Board of School Trustees members, representatives from the school and the district’s Human Resources Division entered their individual classroom to make the announcement and presentation in front of their respective class.
There were reactions ranging from disbelief, to tears of joy and wild applause from students as the first-year teachers were honored for their outstanding contributions to their schools. One of the teachers was surprised even further as family members from out-of-state flew into Las Vegas to be part of the presentation.
More than 1,000 first-year hires were eligible for the honor. The educators, who can be teachers, specialists and other licensed personnel, were selected by a panel that reviewed all the nominations for the awards.
This year’s recipients include:
Robin Bigda – Ninth-grade English teacher at Western High School. Bigda is the winner for the high school category. She is following the path of her mother who was a teacher for 40 years. She is bilingual with degrees in Spanish, journalism and anthropology. Bigda coaches girls’ soccer and swimming and has started a book club at the school.
Malia Elliott – Fourth-grade teacher at Ann Lynch Elementary School. Elliott is the winner for the elementary intermediate category. She is bilingual and has served as co-chair for her grade level following the passing of one of her peers. Elliott was selected by Kagan Publishing and Professional Development to be their designated teacher at the school.
Martha Glawe – Special education teacher at Kenny C. Guinn Middle School. Glawe is the winner in the special education category. She has developed and tested a new approach to the student and teacher behavior checklists for her school, and she has been active in utilizing community resources in creating effective experiences for her students.
Errolyn Guerzon – Second-grade teacher at Manuel J. Cortez Elementary School. Guerzon is the winner for the elementary primary category. After a career in accounting at one of the country’s largest firms, Guerzon stepped away to raise her children. As she volunteered at her children’s school, she found her new calling in life and has become an outstanding teacher.
Anna McCabe – School psychologist at Keith C. and Karen W. Hayes Elementary School. McCabe is the winner in the related services category. She works at both Hayes and Patricia A. Bendorf Elementary School. In addition to providing psychology services, McCabe has been a resource to the other teachers regarding some legal requirements.
Alicia Meier – Eighth-grade geography teacher at William E. Orr Middle School. Meier is the winner for the middle school category. To engage her students in learning about world geography, Meier uses themes in her classroom and has brought in an assortment of food from around the world to expose students to other countries, cultures and cuisine.
Delaney Patterson – Art teacher at Brian and Teri Cram Middle School. Patterson is the winner for the specialist category. A graduate of the Las Vegas Academy of the Arts, Patterson returned to CCSD as an art teacher after attending college in Utah and working as a museum curator. Patterson was also active in setting up the Neon Museum in downtown Las Vegas.
During the presentation, each of the teachers received a gift basket filled with school items and gift cards donated by local businesses.