Vail Valley Voices: An evening for education’s stars |

Vail Valley Voices: An evening for education’s stars

Sandra B. Smyser
Vail, CO, Colorado

Looking back on your days of reading, writing and arithmetic, do you recall teachers who made a lasting impression on your life?

Throughout the stages of perfecting finger painting, grasping reading comprehension, learning cursive, solving algebraic equations or delving into the complexity of physical properties of matter, I am certain that everyone had one teacher in the past who stood out from the rest and fueled the flame of desire within them to learn more.

During my elementary, middle and high school years, several teachers had an impact on my educational experience.

Every one inevitably shaped me as a child and ultimately changed the person I would become.

One teacher in particular stands out from all the others: Mrs. Fletcher, my high school chemistry and physics teacher.

She wore a pen hanging around her neck and greeted us as the bell rang by marking all lab results that were turned in. Everything submitted after the bell was considered late — no exceptions.

Mrs. Fletcher constantly strived to help students make connections with what they were learning.

While my classmates and I worked diligently not to blow anything up, Mrs. Fletcher exercised patience and encouraged us to ask questions and explore our love for science.

Knowing each of us extremely well, she maintained high expectations and pushed us to do our very best. Failure was not an option in her class.

When we struggled, she made herself available and pushed us even harder. When we succeeded, she shared our pride and sense of accomplishment.

In Eagle County Schools, we are fortunate to have amazingly talented and dedicated teachers, who strive to connect with students and push them to do their very best.

Thanks to the support of the Public Education Foundation of Eagle County, we will recognize the best of the best at the 17th annual Evening of Stars Teacher Recognition event on Saturday, April 10, at the Vilar Performing Arts Center at 6 p.m., with a reception to follow at the Park Hyatt Beaver Creek.

Awards will be given to an outstanding educator from each school, an elementary and secondary rookie of the year and a districtwide friend of education.

The outstanding educators who have transformed education in Eagle County Schools, the rookies of the year who are making lasting impressions during their first year of teaching and the friend of education who has made outstanding contributions to education in Eagle County Schools will all be honored at this year’s Evening of Stars.

We encourage staff, parents and community members to take part in this fun-filled event to honor the outstanding teachers who make such a difference in the lives of children every single day.

Our educators, in partnership with families and community members, are the reason Eagle County Schools are setting our children up for success in the future.

The majestic beauty, ample opportunity and incredible educational offerings all contribute to the fact that graduates of Eagle County Schools often never leave the area or inevitably return.

Join us in celebrating these individuals who work tirelessly to increase student achievement and ensure a valuable educational experience for our children at the 17th annual Evening of Stars on Saturday, April 10.

Sandra B. Smyser, Ph.D., is the superintendent of Eagle County Schools.

Support Local Journalism