Juneau teacher recognized as a Teacher of Excellence

Harborview Elementary School teacher Cherry Ecklund was recognized by the BP Teachers of Excellence program. In Alaska, only 32 out of the 1,000 nominated in 2016 were recognized. BP looked at teachers’ performance in the classroom, dedication to students and contribution to the state’s future.

“It is wonderful BP supports education and recognizes teachers across the state,” Ecklund told the Empire. “Of course, when I first found out I had been selected, I called my husband. I think he was even more excited than I was.”

Some anonymous person or persons thought of Ecklund when they thought of who was an excellent teacher; it could have been students, parents, colleagues, principals or community members who nominated her. BP notified Ecklund that she’d gotten a nod from someone, and to accept her nomination, she had to answer a few short essay questions regarding her school and her involvement with the community. It was a forum to express what she is most passionate about as a teacher, she said. BP found her passion for teaching commendable and picked her out of 1,000 nominees, one of two teachers selected from Southeast Alaska, the other being science teacher Rob Parsons of Sitka High School.

“I feel like I need to share this award with all my colleagues,” Ecklund said. “Teaching is really a team effort. We are constantly sharing ideas and learning from one another. I believe all the students, families and colleagues I have worked with have molded me into the teacher I am today.”

Since Ecklund won, she will receive a $500 gift card and a $500 matching grant for Harborview. The money for the school will be used to purchase a “buddy bench” for the playground. The bench allows children to meet and play with new or old friends.

“Kids can sit on the bench when they would like someone to invite them to play or they just want to talk to someone,” Ecklund explained. “This concept has had great success in other schools across the nation and we hope it will add to the positive environment we strive to create at Harborview.”

• Contact Clara Miller at 523-2243 or at clara.miller@juneauempire.com.

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