California Educator

February 2016

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MITCH BAHR, Shasta Secondary Employees Association, teaches instrumental music in grades 9-12 at Foothill High School in Palo Cedro, Shasta Union High School District, in Shasta County. The program has a reputation for excellence and includes a string orchestra, two award-winning concert bands, two elite jazz ensembles, a jazz combo, a marching band and a drumline, as well as other brass, woodwind and percussion ensembles. For the many students who have no formal music training when they enter his program, Bahr says, "I try to do as much as I can to relate musical concepts into their world. I have to teach out- side of the realm of music." Foothill High Principal Jim Bartow, who nominated Bahr, says he is "just amazing in how he approaches each class." "One thing I say oen to my musicians is: 'I don't care what kind of musician you are in 20 years, I care about what kind of person you are.' For now, music is simply the vehicle that can promote the values of dis- cipline, hard work, empathy, respect." MICHELLE CHERLAND, Desert Sands Teachers Association, teaches second grade at Carrillo Ranch Elementary School in Indio, Desert Sands Unified School District, in Riverside County. Cherland is also a decorated Army veteran: She was awarded the Bronze Star in 2010 and served three tours of active military duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, teaching in between. Her commitment to children and education is unparalleled. On a road march in Iraq, she brought two heavy duffle bags full of books for Iraqi children. Of teaching, Cher- land wrote in her application, "It is an honest blessing and my greatest accomplishment to be able to plant the seeds of the future and watch them blossom into upstanding citizens in the country that I have the honor to fight for." "'Be Awesome Today!' is a sign that hangs over my desk. It ensures that today is the day that something new will be learned, a song will be sung, a laugh will be shared, a friend will be made, and a moment may occur that will be remembered long aer this day has passed." DOUG GREEN, Carlsbad Unified Teachers Association, teaches broadcast journalism to students in grades 7-12 at Valley Middle School and Carlsbad High School, Carlsbad Unified School District, in San Diego County. Over the past decade, Carlsbad High won 19 National Student Television Association Awards and the prestigious Student Television Network Award of Excellence six times. The district boasts the number one middle and high school scholastic broadcasts in the country. "I love that my subject area has so much to offer to so many different types of learners," Green says. "I love that the program is rigor- ous and that it reinforces life skills. Students learn to manage deadlines, deal with technical challenges, and learn to become critical viewers. It is hands-on and academic." Valley Mid- dle School Principal Tom Bloomquist says Green's work "has transformed his students." "I am thankful each and every day that I am a teacher. I love watching my students develop as they become motivated learners, talented jour- nalists and remarkable human beings." 53 February 2016

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