Four Becker educators were recently honored as Teachers of the Year from their respective buildings at a ceremony sponsored by the Becker Education Association.
At the primary school, second grade teacher Corrie Wiechmann received the honors.
A 20 year veteran of the classroom, Wiechmann was nominated by two colleagues because of her technology integration and extra efforts at creating the school’s yearbook.
“She is always in the know about fresh ideas . . . she focuses on growth mindset with the students which positively impacts their outlook on learning,” reads one portion of the nomination form. “My daughter is in her class and she told me ‘I have loved Mrs. Wiechmann the best because she is nice and she knows just how to push me without making it too hard.’”
The other nominator noted Wiechmann’s leadership and her passion for reading.
“Corrie is always researching and using the newest tech tools, best teaching practices and has an amazing classroom atmosphere,” reads one excerpt from that nomination. “She creates engaging lessons, fun ways to learn new concepts, and is willing to help and share with anyone that asks.”
After completing her 25th year at the intermediate school, including the past 19 in fourth grade, Jill Johnson was recognized by her colleagues.
Fellow teacher Courtney Dawson nominated Johnson because of the high expectations she holds for students.
“Jill is one of the most caring and creative teachers . . . she builds relationships with each of her students, and her students know she cares about each of them,” Dawson wrote in her nomination. “She holds her students to high expectations and knows what is best for each kid. She instills a love of reading in them and makes sure to read to them everyday.”
Dawson went on to laud Johnson’s calm presence, as well as her ability to organize teams of teachers to ensure everyone is included in the decision making process.
Jen Panek was honored as the teacher of the year in the middle school after being nominated by Language Arts teacher Abby Strom.
“Jen is wonderful at communicating with teachers about her students, helping students, and contacting families,” reads part of Strom’s description.
One co-worker described Panek as “calm, patient, funny, good hearted, a hard worker, reliable, and just an all-around wonderful person to work with!”
The middle school nomination also included some words spoken by students, which included: “She deserves an award because she is really nice and she helps us get our work done”; “I like her because she takes her time with us and doesn’t get mad if we don’t know the answer”; and “She is a great teacher because she has a lot of patience. Math is my hardest subject but somehow she made it fun.”
Veteran Technology Education teacher Matt Eigen was honored as the high school’s winner.
Eigen’s nomination highlighted his curriculum work, as well as his expertise in the area of communications technology.
“Matt keeps up with current technology . . . he has designed and maintained a computer lab as part of his teaching space since he was hired at BHS,” reads one part of the nomination. “One of the areas he excels in is Communication Technology, and over the years Matt has continually updated the curriculum he teaches by developing new classes that better meet student needs and address current trends. As an example, Matt is currently designing a new engineering lab and engineering classes.”
Additional supporting information for Eigen’s nomination includes an exhaustive list of the many leadership positions he has held at the school, including: membership in the ITEA, MTEA and CMTEA; PLC leader; Youth Baseball Board, and numerous coaching positions.
Congratulations to all four 2023 Becker teachers of the year.