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Wellington Daily News - Wellington, KS
  • Sawyer is Wellington's Teacher of the Year

  • Teacher of the Year for USD 353 was awarded to Eisenhower Elementary third grade teacher Vanessa Sawyer. She has been teaching there for five years, and earned her degree from Newman University.
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  • by Amber Schmitz
        
    Teacher of the Year for USD 353 was awarded to Eisenhower Elementary third grade teacher Vanessa Sawyer. She has been teaching there for five years, and earned her degree from Newman University.
    "I was thrilled to be able to represent Wellington. When I accepted the award, I tried to show how much Wellington has helped mold me into the person I am today, Cherity Elder and Ann Shinliver were my mentors and they are wonderful!" she said.
        Wanting something different and fun for the kids to do, Sam Heasty, Eisenhower 5th grade teacher, and Sawyer, found an idea for a Color Run on Pinterest. They presented the idea to the school, and it grew into a fundraiser. This was the first year Eisenhower has held a Color Run, and $17,000 was raised.
        Sawyer doesn't know who nominated her for the award. For a teacher to be eligible for the award, an individual must fill out a form and write a letter of nomination by a certain date. After this, the teacher must also fill out a form with information. She was awarded $1,000 from the USD 353 Foundation for this Excellence in Teaching award.
        This year, Sawyer's third grade class made a video about good oral health and won first place from the Kansas Dental Association.
        Sawyer and five of her students participated in Dancing with the Teachers and won the People's Choice award. Another activity her class did was a book character living museum, in which students had to dress like a book character and perform a skit.
        The students also enjoyed a field trip to Zeka Farms, where they played baseball and basketball, played in the barn, jumped on hay bales, fished and pained flower pots. Sawyer also started an online blog to help increase parent involvement and teacher/parent
    communication. She posts what activities the classroom is involved in and includes pictures.
        Sawyer resides in Wellington with her husband and two sons. She plans on teaching fifth grade at Washington Elementary this coming fall.
        

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