Park City’s recognizes excellent educators
April 30, 2014
Students at Treasure Mountain Junior High School filed into the cafeteria Monday morning where Principal David McNaughtan stood on the stage, ready to announce the school’s Doilney Excellent Educator Award for the 2013-14 school year. Assistant principal Kevin McIntosh was surprised to hear that he was the faculty and staff’s choice for the award.
Representatives from the Park City Education Foundation and Deer Valley Resort traveled to each school in the district Friday, April 25, to surprise and name teacher recipients of the Excellent Educator Award. The Excellent Educator Express began in 1996 when local developers Jim Doilney and Mike Barnes decided they wanted to give back to the Park City School District.
Doilney’s mother was a teacher, and he wanted to honor educators like her. He met with Deer Valley Resort to discuss funding the event, and the resort decided to donate cash prizes. Now, one teacher at each school is nominated and voted on by their co-workers. Amy Macuga has been the chair of the event for two years, and she said it is a joyful day.
"It’s a happy event, a win-all for everyone," she said. "Even the teachers that don’t win get copies of the nominations, so there are warm fuzzies all around."
She dropped off stacks of envelopes at each school with nominations to be placed in teachers’ mail boxes to let them know they were nominated for the award and why. The faculty and staff at each school are asked to nominate a staff member at the school that best embodies the values of an excellent educator, and votes are cast.
The teacher who receives the most nominations and votes receives a cash prize from Deer Valley Resort as well as their name on a gold plate on the Doilney Excellent Educator Awards plaque at each school.
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Teachers honored this year include McPolin Elementary School second-grade Dual Language Immersion teacher Jana Tullis, Trailside Elementary School special education teacher Shelley Pierce, Jeremy Ranch Elementary School second-grade teacher Barbara Hansen, Parley’s Park Elementary School (librarian) Tracy Bowers, Ecker Hill Middle School Spanish teacher Patricia Muñoz and Park City High School science teacher Ben Ray.
The Sarah and Stephen Doilney Award -named after Doilney’s parents- was given to Park City High School chemistry teacher Maureen Amendola. The recipient of the award is chosen by the graduating class. It is given to the teacher they feel has influenced or inspired them the most throughout their student career in the district.
Because McIntosh was not available on Friday, Deer Valley Resort and PCEF representatives awarded him Monday morning. He was so honored to be named Treasure Mountain’s Excellent Educator for the year he fought back tears.
"It is very humbling. I have dedicated my life to education, and it’s a wonderful thing," he said, wiping his eyes with a tissue. "I’m very thankful to be able to be here and work with such great people and great kids. It’s an amazing thing but hard to explain, because it’s been my entire life."
McNaughtan read aloud comments from McIntosh’s co-workers, saying that he is always visually and audibly present for both faculty and students. They also said he was an excellent teacher who applied his skills to being an effective administrator and never lost the heart of a teacher.
"Kevin is one of the best administrators in the district, bar none," McNaughtan said. "Without him, we can’t function. He is a strong leader in our building."
Macuga and McNaughtan agreed that the event helps motivate the teachers by recognizing their hard work and dedication to their profession and the students in the district. The community agrees, Macuga said, because they support the event in any way they can.
"I called up the high school, and they threw together a band that was perfect for the event, The Market gave us a deal on the cakes and Silver Cricket [Floral Atelier] gave us floral bouquets," she said. "The whole community supports the event, so it is easy to go in somewhere and ask for help. It’s so appreciated."
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