Earlier today the Open High School of Utah (disclaimer: I’m the school’s founder and currently serve on its board) issued the following press release. Congratulations to Sarah and the whole school.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 28, 2010
DeLaina Tonks, (801) 725-3396
Director~Open High School of Utah
Online Teacher Named Utah Charter School Educator of the Year
Open High School of Utah, a virtual charter high school serving students statewide, announces that online math teacher, Sarah Weston, is awarded Utah Association of Public Charter School Educator of the Year.
Salt Lake City, UT (PRWEB) – Sarah Weston, math teacher at the Open High School of Utah, is awarded Utah Charter Educator of the Year at the annual Utah Association of Public Charter Schools Conference in Provo. Every year, Utah’s Charter Association recognizes excellence and innovation by individual charter schools and the tremendous people working within them, at their annual conference held in June. This year’s nominees for Educator of the Year included applicants from among many of the 72 charter schools statewide. Sarah Weston from the Open High School of Utah was one of two teachers selected to receive this prestigious award for the 2009-2010 school year.
Sarah Weston is the first online teacher in Utah to receive an Educator of the Year award. She teaches math courses at the Open High School of Utah, a full-service online high school, where she also develops and creates dynamic, engaging courses online. Because the curriculum is housed and delivered on the computer, the majority of Sarah’s time is spent providing one-on-one tutoring for each student, giving them the individualized instruction they need, when they need it.
What makes Sarah Weston stand out as an educator? Sarah has perfected the art of individualized instruction and connecting with her students. This is especially important for math students, some of whom have begun to like math for the first time ever! The use of 21st century technology is an essential component of Sarah’s success as a teacher, and she is highly skilled at incorporating a wide variety of tools into her teaching repertoire. Sarah is masterful at pinpointing student needs and giving them meaningful individualized instruction. Whether her students are struggling or excelling, Sarah is always the first to contact them.
Sarah’s students overwhelmingly agree she has inspired them to love math. One student shared, “I just felt the need to express my current love for math–and it’s all thanks to you! If you recall, at the beginning of the semester, I stated that I was terrified of math… But after watching the videos you create, everything seems so crystal clear and simple, in a way that’s like, Wow! How did I not see that before?”
Parents have observed a difference in their students’ level of achievement. Parent, Dave Harless said, “I have watched some of the videos where you teach the students different lessons, and you do a marvelous job. You are very clear and concise and make it easy to understand. My son is doing much better in math this year and much of the credit belongs to you.”
DeLaina Tonks, Director of the Open High School of Utah adds her thoughts on the key to Sarah Weston’s success. “Sarah is never content to maintain the status quo. She continually searches for ways to improve her skill set, student performance, and increase efficiency as a teacher. Sarah is an example of leadership to the other teachers and continually seeks for best practices and tools to implement in order to keep OHSU on the cutting-edge. Teachers like Sarah are a rare treasure.”
The Open High School of Utah is putting the focus where it should be – on the student. Our mission is to facilitate lifelong success by meeting the needs of the 21st century learner through individualized, student-centered instruction, innovative technology, service learning, and personal responsibility.
At the Open High School of Utah students learn from home on a laptop provided by the school, logging in to classes on a daily basis to complete their schoolwork, assisted by certified, highly qualified teachers. The Open High School of Utah currently serves 250 9th and 10th graders across the state of Utah. That number will increase to 1500 students in grades 9-12 by the 2013-2014 school year. Go to www.openhighschool.org for more information.