In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week this week, Scotts Valley Patch asked its readers to share with us a paragraph or two about the teachers they feel are making a difference, have gone above and beyond or have had an impact on their lives. Below are the first two submissions—Sharlene Santos from Brook Knoll Elementary School and Renae Fish from Scott Valley Middle School. Read what makes them great teachers and deserving of recognition this week.
And we are still looking for submissions. Whether you are a student, parent or community member, we want to hear your story of the great things Scotts Valley teachers are doing every day to enrich the lives of their students.
Email Shannon.firstname.lastname@example.org with a paragraph or two on the teacher or teachers you would like to see recognized during Teacher Appreciation week. Tell us who they are, where they teach and what makes them special, then come back on Friday to read all about them and the others we are honoring this week.
Sharlene Santos, Brook Knoll Elementary School, fourth-grade
Everyone who knows Shar Santos knows that she is a remarkable teacher. On a daily basis she goes above and beyond with her students, with the families, and for Brook Knoll Elementary School. At the start of this year, Shar learned that the mother of one of her students had cancer. Shar has such compassion for others and cares so deeply about the welfare of her students, that she has spent the past few months making many dinners for the family, lunches for her student, and often helping the family with transportation and other things that make life easier for them as they fight this battle. Scotts Valley has a wonderful community and amazing teachers, but Shar deserves special recognition. Shar's generosity and compassion for others, especially as it relates to her students, makes her not just a remarkable teacher, but also a remarkable human being.
-Submitted by Scotts Valley parents, Susan St. John Gliner, Paige Garrahan, Robin Musitelli, Karen Christensen Jones and Jill Hitchman.
Renae Fish, Scotts Valley Middle School, sixth-grade science
I’m biased since Renae is my wife, but since people around town are always telling me what a wonderful science teacher she is, I had to speak out (even our own twins, who had Renae as a teacher, reluctantly agree that she was a very good teacher). First, she is very hands on. The kids don’t just read from a book. There are constant experiments to see how science is applied in the everyday world. For example, she uses marshmallows, graham crackers and other goodies, puts them under pressure, and uses this to demonstrate how sedimentary rock is formed. Then, of course, the kids get to eat the “rocks.” She also single handedly organizes the sixth-grade Yosemite Winter Week. When I talk to kids coming out of the middle school, many say this was the single strongest memory they had of middle school. It’s Renae’s belief that kids retain more if they actually do, rather than just fall asleep in a textbook. It’s gratifying to hear from both kids and parents that they agree.
-Submitted by Gary Fish Redenbacher