We appreciate the hard work our Bellevue School District teachers do each and every day to support our students and fellow staff members. They have quickly adapted to the new remote learning model and have been innovative in the way they keep their students connected. In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week, we are recognizing some of the many ways our teachers help our students learn and thrive as creators of their future world.
Help us celebrate our exceptional teachers by sharing your teacher appreciation stories on social media and using #BSDTeacherAppreciation! Continue to check back during the week as we share more stories from around the district!
Interlake Pacific Program Team
Jessica Wells, Adina Rosenberg, Heather McLean and Bob Scroggs all teach in the Pacific Program at Interlake High School. Throughout the transition to remote learning, they have all celebrated student engagement, learning and socialization. They have successfully worked with family members to integrate new learning routines into the home setting through remote instruction, teaching students to carry out independent tasks with minimal adult assistance. We continually draw inspiration from the team as they creatively work with their school team to support students through virtual platforms!
Jolinda Hernandez has been teaching at Stevenson for five years and brings passion and expertise to her classroom and the entire Stevenson community. Jolinda teaches from her core beliefs of equity, inclusion and genuine love for each and every child. Jolinda is a Guided Language Acquisition Development Lead, a member of Stevenson’s Positive Behavior Intervention Supports team, and staff leader for Students Organized Against Racism. Jolinda exudes warmth and positivity, and her first grade classroom is always alive with engaging instruction, student discussion and movement. Jolinda also brings the fun – from decorating the staff lounge with pictures and selfies to organizing a picture slideshow to show appreciation to the Stevenson families. Stevenson is incredibly lucky to have Jolinda Hernandez!
It’s nearly impossible to pick just one teacher at Somerset Elementary to recognize this week as all our staff are doing a stellar job during this time of remote learning. One staff member has gone above and beyond and touched the lives of all. She has offered tireless support to ensure classified staff and teachers’ technology needs are met and has inspired us with new learning. The skills and ideas for student learning and engagement at Somerset have been positively impacted because of her. In these pictures, Amy was showing staff how to change their Microsoft Teams backgrounds. Thank you, Amy Scott, for your dedication, positive attitude, and for being part of our Somerset family!
Jennifer Mooney is a Special Education teacher working across the middle school and high school as a case manager and co-teacher. She supports teachers with Universal Design Instruction and Special Education pedagogy and is also an active member of the Equity Inclusion Leadership Team and Guidance Teams. She is an unwavering advocate for equity and cares deeply in the capacity of students. During the closure, Jennifer has gone above the ask, setting daily individual meetings with upwards of a half-dozen students. Some of this includes the work of support students through APEX courses. Jennifer is a valuable member of the Big Picture community!
Bellevue High School teacher Stacie LeBlanc read an article about how New York artists are creating artwork and donating them to hospital break rooms to cheer up the essential workers. She inspired her students to do the same! 90 students have donated art to Overlake Hospital, local QFC and Trader Joe’s stores and one of the local fire stations! Thank you, Stacie, for inspiring your students to be creators of their future world!
Wesley Hung is a middle school science teacher at International School. He’s been going above and beyond by setting aside thirty minutes of one on one time with students that haven’t been passing his online quizzes! Wesley has been open to receiving feedback from students and is always open to hearing from them – the good, the bad and the ugly – and uses that feedback and communication to better support his students.
Amy Helm has been creating inclusive classrooms as a Language Arts teacher at Odle Middle School for 15 years. As a champion for equity and inclusion, she has helped lead the development of Odle’s co-teaching services in Language Arts. She has served as Department Chair and mentor for many teachers new to the profession and her classroom has been used as a model for how to integrate social-emotional learning into subject-matter instruction. This year, as part of her focus on closing achievement gaps, she has helped to lead a focus in 6th grade on how to use assessments to inform instructional practice. She exemplifies our BSD values for integrity and service!
Homa Hassan is a Kindergarten teacher at Clyde Hill Elementary. She goes above and beyond to connect with her students and shows her love by making posters to let them know she cares about them. Homa is a vibrant person with a huge heart!
Sam Nelson is in his third year teaching PE and Health at Odle Middle School. He builds strong relationships with students through being mindful and responsive to their needs, modeling our BSD value of compassion. Throughout the closure, Sam has embodied our BSD value of excellence by creating high quality resources to help students remain physically active. These include utilizing household materials, such as water bottles or grocery bags, while meeting the Physical Education state standards! Additionally, he has provided resources for students on mental health, recognizing that students may be facing challenges during the pandemic.
Tony Granito has been with Big Picture School since it opened nine years ago and has served as a classroom teacher, advisor and an Instructional Technology Curriculum Leader. He is described by his colleagues as innovative and compassionate – his colleagues trust and respect him and feel they are better teachers because of him. Tony brings people together for authentic collaboration and approaches everything from a mindset of students being at the center. He serves as an advisor to Students Organized Against Racism and is a leader at Odle’s Equity Inclusion Leadership Team and Project-Based Learning teams. Tony takes on additional responsibilities such as managing the school’s website, producing videos and co-leads professional development with staff and students!
Arty has continued to support International School students both as their counselor and as the school’s ASB advisory. She is working with students and families on their schedules to ensure their needs are met. Arty even coordinated online elections to keep the students on track with their plans!
Enid Smith Becker and Jessi Scott
Enid and Jessi are both teachers at International School. They have adapted their teaching and found new ways to connect with their students! Enid has stepped outside her comfort zone to take on new technology learning. Jessi has quickly adapted her instruction during her AP classes. They have both been flexible with remote learning and have been understanding towards the varying needs of their students.
Rebecca O’Connor and Trisha Wiley
The Special Education team at Wilburton Elementary goes above and beyond all the time! Rebecca and Trisha are collaborating with grade level teams to support access to curriculum and materials, creating adapted materials for families and students to use at home and using a variety of technology tools to support students. They are coordinating one-on-one check-ins and small group lessons while supporting the social-emotional needs of students. Their collaborative approach is both student-centered and positive, focusing on the strengths of the student!
Pam Lawlor and Mary Picciotto
Pam Lawlor and Mary Picciotto were recognized by their team at Cherry Crest Elementary for “plunging headlong” into remote learning and new technology. They have created accessible and engaging learning lessons with NearPod. Pam’s students have said they love hearing her voice! Pam and Mary are outstanding and dedicated teachers who puts the needs of their students first and are supportive of their colleagues.