Olympia (Wash.) The Evergreen State College recently honored two Olympia and one Yelm high school teacher with Teacher of Excellence awards, recognizing teachers who have had a significant impact on the lives of their students. The teachers were Lisa Summers of A.G. West Black Hills High School, Cathy Miller of North Thurston High School and Joshua Hamblin of Yelm High School. Incoming Evergreen students were asked to nominate their former instructors for the award, presented by the college’s Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost, Dr. Michael Zimmerman.
“Most of us can point to a pivotal experience in our education when a teacher noticed, encouraged, or influenced us. Maybe that teacher bolstered our confidence; maybe she or he changed the course of our lives,” Dr. Zimmerman said. “Because Evergreen values the art and practice of high quality teaching, we ask incoming students to consider former instructors who made a profound positive impact. This award recognizes Lisa Summers as a Teacher of Excellence who inspires and makes a real difference in students’ lives.”
Former student Morganne Betchy lauded her teacher, Hamblin. “He is so well organized when it comes to teaching students mythology and creative writing. I couldn’t have asked for a better teacher,” said Betchy.
In nominating Summers, former student Shannara Graham wrote: “Lisa Summers is very goal oriented and smart, she always listens and she gives sound advice.” Graham recalled, “Whenever I went to her with an issue, whether it be with school or home life, she always knew what to say to give me a more positive outlook. She also gave good direction and made it easy to thrive in class.”
Evergreen has been asking its incoming students to nominate and recognize teachers of excellence since 2011.