Park City School District teacher earns statewide award
February 17, 2012
The Outstanding Educator award was established several years ago in honor of Utah teacher Dr. Calvin Taylor, who was a positive influence on students throughout his service as an educator, according to Park City School District Gifted Specialist Gina Mason. This year, Mason nominated her colleague DeEtte Earl for The Outstanding Educator award and she won.
A committee from The Utah Association for Gifted Children convenes to select one award recipient, Mason said, adding that after Earl was selected, Mason was chosen to present the award to her at the annual luncheon held in Salt Lake City. More than 400 educators attended the luncheon along with Earl’s family, where she received a plaque and $1,500 cash.
"The award represents a teacher or leader who is an advocate for gifted education," Mason said. "I’ve known DeEette for three years and of those three years she just struck me as a great teacher. She really is passionate about these kids and about this job. I believe she wakes up every day wanting to go to work, and it shows."
Earl started her career in the Jordan School District more than 20 years ago before moving into a teaching position at Parley’s Park Elementary School three years ago. This is her first year as the Elementary Gifted Specialist in the Park City School District, Earl said, adding that she works with gifted students in fourth and fifth grade and enrichment classes for students in first through third-grade. She also implemented a districtwide Geography Bee in the elementary schools this year.
"She works extensively with our gifted and high-ability learners consistently advocating for, as well as helping to ensure, their needs are met," Mason said in her speech to Earl at the luncheon. "She is comfortable and confident working with the parents of gifted students within the district."
Earl graduated from Park City High School about 25 years ago and said she enjoys giving back to the community that gave her so much.
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"I love working with the students and parents in the Park City School District and I appreciate the support that they have given me over the years," she said. "We have a lot of very talented children in our district, which is a compliment to our education system and our parenting and how our children are being raised and how we value education."
According to Parley’s Park Elementary Instructional teacher Anne Jackman, Earl is always in tune with the needs of her students and they enjoy learning with her.
"She possesses a level of energy with her students’ that excites them about learning," Jackman said. "She cares for each one of her students as she interacts with them, implementing a variety of teaching strategies."