Last Thursday, Zach called me after school to tell me he’d received an award! A local radio station has teamed with Mrs. Baird’s and they have a program called Teachers on the Rise. To be eligible for the prize, the teacher must be nominated by a student. The student must write a paragraph about why their teacher deserves to win. The nominations are reviewed by a panel of judges, and voted upon. There are three winners each month based on grade levels and I’m so excited that Zach won this month! Teachers from all over our area are eligible and what an incredible surprise for him to have been selected!
A representative of Mrs. Baird’s came to his school on Thursday for what was a “surprise” assembly for Zach. Most of the faculty knew there was an assembly at the end of the day, but Zach had no clue. When they gathered in the gym, they were told that a teacher had been selected as winner of the prize and then they called his name and he went up to receive his prize!
They also called up the student who nominated him, and they read the nomination letter he wrote. When Zach got home that night and showed me the letter, I could tell how incredibly touched and honored he was by the words his student wrote. He was also the very first winner from a private school and was so honored to be selected as one of this month’s winners!
Along with some loaves of bread and some donuts, Zach won a $200 gift card to Wal-mart and $150 gas card! In June, we get to go to a party at local movie/dinner venue for an evening out. That night, they will also do a drawing amongst this year’s winners and one of the winners will receive $1,500!!!! Of course we’d love to win that but I know that any of the teachers who have won are well deserving and probably all of them could really use it. No matter what happens, I’m just so thrilled for Zach to have won this award and even more thrilled it came on a day when he really needed some affirmation in his career! The student who nominated him also won a gift card so I know that was exciting for him as well! I’ve had several people tell me they have heard about him winning on the radio and have sent their congratulations!
I could not be more proud of this man and the work he does daily in the lives of his young students! I am amazed over the fact that a teenage boy would be so touched by what Zach does that he would take the time to write a letter to nominate him. I think that just speaks volumes about the teacher and man that Zach is! He works harder than almost anyone I’ve ever met and he has challenges and obstacles that many of the music teachers in our area don’t have simply because of their size and talent pool. Zach has taken a program that has struggled for YEARS and in just a short time, has drastically improved it. When he arrived, he had enrollment of approximately 30 kids in the three grades he taught. Next year, he is looking at enrollment of almost 90!!!!! In a school of only about 215 students, this is quite incredible. Throughout the hardships he’s faced, he carries himself with the utmost character and professionalism. This award came on the same day as Zach was facing some disappointment and I’m just so grateful that the Lord cares so much for us that He orchestrated this award to come the same day and eliminated those feelings of disappointment. God knows just what we need and exactly when we need it. He also knows right where we should be and I’m SO THANKFUL for that! Congrats again, Zach! Thank you for being you and making us so proud!