Two local educators were nominated for Teacher of the Year awards.

Lisa Becker, an art teacher at Armstrong and Northside, and Thomas Cooper, a math instructor at St. James High School were nominated by fellow teachers.

Two local educators were nominated for Teacher of the Year awards.

    Lisa Becker, an art teacher at Armstrong and  Northside,  and Thomas Cooper, a math instructor at St. James High School were nominated by fellow teachers.

    Becker was nominated by Pam Olson. Olson’s nominating statement read, “I would like to nominate Lisa Becker for the St. James Teacher of the year award. Lisa is a quiet leader who inspires the young children of our district through her expertise as an artist as well as her knowledge of art education.

    “She helps children develop their artistic skills by providing them with the tools to find their own way of expressing themselves through art.  

           “Mrs. Becker introduces the children to the works of famous artists and lets them draw or paint using the same techniques as those artists.

    “I look forward to walking through the halls of Northside to see the beautifully creative art projects the kids have made. There are so many new and exciting projects each year as well as the timeless treasured ones that we, as parents, love to see come home with each of our children.

    “I myself have a shelf full of little clay animals lovingly sculpted and painted by my own children throughout the years.

    “Though she sees hundreds of children, she knows every one of them by name and she makes sure every one of them has the chance to bring home something beautiful. We are very fortunate to have an art teacher like Lisa in our district. She is most deserving of this award.”

    Cooper was nominated by Rachel Casey. Casey nominating comments for him read, “Mr. Cooper has been able to reach our struggling Math students and teaches Math in a way that is easy to understand.

    “He is also willing to help all students who need help in Math, even if they are not his students. He puts in the extra time.     “Also for the last couple of years he has had to be very flexible where he teaches. He has been on a cart, sharing classrooms with other teachers for two years.

    “Sometime these rooms had a smartboard or white board, sometimes just a blackboard. He always rolls with whatever he has and students are still able to learn.”

    Nominations for Teacher of the Year closed on  Nov. 15.

    The 2013 Teacher of the Year will be named at a ceremony May 5, 2013.     The Minnesota Teacher of the Year also becomes Minnesota’s candidate for National Teacher of the Year.

    Eligible nominees must:
    Teach in a public or nonpublic pre-K through 12th-grade school.
    Hold a baccalaureate degree and a Minnesota teaching license.
    Have completed three years of teaching by the nomination deadline, and intend to teach during the 2013-14 school year.

    Lee Carlson, an English teacher and the President, Education MN - St. James chapter discussed the nominating process when he said, “We, as a local union, sponsor a process where we identified a representative from each building.

    “That does not, however, preclude someone from outside our local union using the nomination opportunity to identify another person they feel as worthy.

    “I don't recall that as happening but if they submitted an online nomination, the state level of ED MN would provide support for the nominee to continue in the process regardless of whether our local union was the nominating vehicle.”