- HS teacher Kristina Marshall
- TLC aide Sharon Larsen
- IS teacher Amy Schaffer
- MS literacy specialist Kathy Keating
- TLC teacher Jill Becker on behalf of the HS robotics team, The Nut Jobs
Successories is a staff recognition program that gives people a way to say ‘thank you’ whenever they feel as though a B-P faculty or staff member is going above and beyond for students. This quarter’s winners will receive a $25 restaurant gift card. Marshall is this quarter’s grand prize winner and will additionally receive a personal day, which Superintendent Stephen Tomlinson will cover.
You can nominate staff members for Successories recognition by completing the online nomination form. A grand prize winner of a $100 gift certificate is chosen in June.
Kristina Marshall is a high school English teacher and is the grand prize winner for the 3rd Quarter Successories! She earns an extra day off, and Superintendent Stephen Tomlinson will sub for her.
Marshall was nominated by two students this quarter. The nominations highlighted the powerful relationship between students and teachers. One of the nominees has decided to major in English at college this fall, citing Marshall as her inspiration.
“Mrs. Marshall is such an understanding and supportive teacher,” the nomination says. “Mrs. Marshall will always take time out of her day to sit down and provide advice on things that will help her students in the future. Whether it’s help with the stress and anxiety of college applications or just a casual conversation about her students’ interests or homework, she doesn’t hesitate to help. For me Mrs. Marshall has very much prepared me for my transition to college. Her SUPA writing class has been a challenging obstacle but influenced me to major in English at college this fall. I’m very happy to have to have been able to be a part of her class and I will really miss it after I graduate. She’s one of those teachers that you can go to for anything and she always has great book suggestions to read outside of class.”
“Thank you for being the sweetest and kindest teacher I know,” the second nomination says. “You’re always helping me whenever I need it, and you’re always there for me and I appreciate it so much.”
Marshall said she was overwhelmed by the nominations, and reminded her that children are incredibly impressionable.
“Part of the reason why I wanted to be a teacher was to positively impact children, and for them to recognize that is happening means a lot,” Marshall said. “The nominations mentioned very specific instances where they remembered when I’ve helped with, or things I’ve said to them. You don’t realize that these normal, every day things can impact them so much. It’s an honor and I’m so grateful that they took the time to nominate me.”
Sharon Larsen is a teaching assistant in Hope DeZolt’s pre-k class at TLC. Larsen has been nominated multiple times as a Successory. This time, she was nominated by a parent who recognizes her innate ability to connect with children.
“I have never seen Mrs. Larson without a smile on her face,” the nomination says. “Her patience with all of the children is admirable. She always has a child in her lap or her arms and is always very nurturing. When we see Mrs. Larson outside of school, she will run up to the kids and give them hugs. She is always laughing and smiling. She is an amazing woman.”
Anyone who has spent time with Larsen in the classroom knows she is like a magnet for children. She credits that to being the youngest of seven children in her family.
“I’ve always loved kids,” Larsen says. “I feel drawn to them and they feel drawn to me. It’s a safe place for them, and that’s my responsibility. This is their home away from home, and I want to treat them the way I’d want my kids treated.”
Amy Schaffer is a fifth-grade teacher at the intermediate school. She was nominated by a parent who recognized that Schaffer’s advocacy transformed a child’s experience at school.
“Thank you for advocating to get my child’s needs met,” the nomination said. “He has struggled with his education, and through your witness and advocacy we have developed a plan to get his needs met. He is so happy to have you for a teacher and feels a special bond with you. He finally has the assistance he needs.”
Schaffer says she felt very honored to learn that a parent felt she was able to help their child through hard times.
“His personality took a 180 after we got him the help he needed,” Schaffer says. “He used to tell me he didn’t want to be in school. That is no longer the case. It’s an amazing feeling to know that I’ve been able to make school fun for him again. These aren’t things that I do for recognition, but it is a testament that I’m doing everything I can to help that child.”
Kathy Keating is a literacy specialist at the middle school. She was nominated by a student whom she helped to see the power of perseverance.
“Thanks for being a great AIS teacher,” the nomination says. “You always make me feel like I can keep on trying and doing my best. You teach me to never give up and to always try my hardest. Thanks for helping me become a better reader.”
There is perhaps no better teacher than Keating to help someone see the power of perseverance. She is a former nurse who changed careers after her husband passed away. As the single parent of two children, Keating worked hard to get a dual certification in both literacy and science. She worked multiple part-time jobs before landing a full-time teaching position here at B-P.
“When I read the nomination, I cried,” Keating said. “It had been a hard couple of days. I texted my daughter, who heard about the hard days. She said, ‘See, Mom. There’s your niche. You’re where you’re supposed to be.'”
“Some of the kids hate reading because they’ve struggled for so long,” Keating says. “Because of that, it’s hard for them to understand you’re trying to help. You can look at all the data you want, but when a student excels and realizes what you’ve done to help them, it’s an amazing feeling.”
Jill Becker is a first-grade teacher at TLC, but she also coaches the high school FIRST Tech Challenge robotics team with her husband Rob Becker, a B-P school board member. The Beckers were nominated by a high school robotics student who recognized the coaches’ “selfless dedication” to the team.
“You have sacrificially given your time and your home, and set aside your garage to serve as a place for building the robot, created a mock competition space, and had hours upon hours of practice time,” the nomination said. “You have spent countless week nights and weekends, even taking the team out of town to stay in a hotel to prepare for competitions. For all of the pizza you’ve eaten, rides to and from competitions, living room conversations, planning times, and fundraising efforts, just to name a few, you have both gone above and beyond. For that, we are truly grateful.”
People may not realize the significant amount of time and resources that it takes to coach a small robotics team.
‘Rob and I feel the same way,” Jill Becker says. “We love it. It’s a huge amount of time, but we can’t imagine not doing it. It means a lot that the kids understand we don’t have to do this, but we volunteer and enjoy it.”