Five DMPS teachers – Erin Budreau, Alison Hoeman, Maria Howard, Patrick Lewis, and Michael Marckett – received Educator of the Year awards from the Rotary Club of Des Moines. The Educator of the Year awards are made possible through generous donations to the Rotary Club of Des Moines Foundation. These awards have been given out for over 20 years. Since the year 2000, and including this year’s winners, 77 DMPS educators have been recognized. The process of choosing these Educators begins with a letter to the superintendent and all building principals asking them to nominate a faculty member. Nomination applications are then given to a peer panel of previous recipients of the award, which gives recommendations to the award committee to determine the final winners. Each Rotary Educator of the Year receives a $1,000 classroom stipend, a collective traveling plaque with their name engraved on it and a personalized commemorative clock.
The article below is from the Rotary Club’s e-bulletin announcing this year’s honorees.
This Thursday brought one of our regularly scheduled and most inspiring programs of the year, the Educator of the Year Awards. Our club recognized five educators who are making a difference serving others. If ever you find yourself wondering why you belong to Rotary, all you need to do is consider how our club supports teachers through this effort and helps lift students by providing the scholarships which were announced during last week’s meeting. By recognizing educators and assisting students, our cub helps us further our commitment to the Four Way Test.
Alison Hoeman teaches English language learners at Phillips Traditional School. However, the title teacher does not adequately describe what Alison Hoeman does for the students, families, and the community she serves. Many of her students have relocated to the U.S. and are adjusting to an entirely new cultural environment, struggling to keep up with a rigorous curriculum, all while learning to speak English. Alison Hoeman views teaching as a team effort and has been recognized by her principal for an ability to coordinate a specialized approach to learning designed specifically for each student.
Erin Budreau teaches Fifth Grade at Findley Elementary. Erin Budreau embodies all of the elements of a master teacher. Because she is adept at combing art with math, science with English, civics with communication, Erin Budreau’s students learn subject fundamentals, but more importantly, develop the critical thinking skills that help them better understand their place in the world as problem solvers and citizens. She has served as a demonstration teacher as a way to pass on her expertise to up-and-coming educators and as a way to renew, and her revitalize her classroom methods.
Maria Howard teaches Global Studies/Language Acquisition at Brody Middle School. Her enthusiasm for teaching and love of her students was evident in the remarks she made after accepting her award. She believes her success as a teacher is a result of her taking the time and making an effort to understand students’ individual needs, her commitment to working with students to set personal goals, and, most important, her dedication to helping students become global thinkers who understand their responsibility for others and the planet. Maria Howard has an infectious personality that motivates those around her to try to reach higher.
Michael Marcketti teaches math at Central Academy. He guides some of our community’s brightest students not by teaching math concepts, but by igniting a desire to solve problems that will unlock the secrets of the universe. Mike Marcketti is the type of teacher who truly loves his subject and never stops thinking of new ways to explain the most challenging aspects of math. His real secret is knowing how to make learning fun and the way he helps students build confidence in their ability to tackle what many see the most daunting of subjects. Mike Marcketti’s compassion and genuine interest in his student’s growth are part of his special recipe for success.
Patrick Lewis is an educator at Roosevelt High School. His approach to teaching goes far beyond his open-door classroom. As a behavioral interventionist, Patrick Lewis works with students who struggle with discipline, face a wide range of learning obstacles, and who must navigate social and personal landmines daily. He is not intimidated to address charged issues such as race, sex, and social disparity head-on. Patrick Lewis musters the resources of the entire Roosevelt community to ensure his students stay on track. His commitment to his students changes not only their lives but improves the lives of every member of the TRHS student body.