Second grade teacher, Darla Stapel received the Huntsman Award for Excellence in Education on Thursday, April 24th.
Mrs. Stapel was quite surprised when her door opened and in walked Mrs. Huntsman, her family, several members of the facuty and PTA. Mrs. Huntsman spotlighted Mrs. Stapel for quite awhile and didn't leave until she got her very own second grade "License;" something all of her students have.
The official award will be presented to Mrs. Stapel on May 16th at an awards dinner for all of this year's Huntsman Award recipents.
The following are quotes about the impact Mrs. Stapel has had on the lives of many people:
Candice Poole, PTA: “Mrs. Stapel tries to always be fair and consistent. To teach responsibility, it costs students $1 of classroom money to use the bathroom pass. Once when Mrs. Stapel had to use the pass, she felt it was only fair that it cost her also, so she paid out $1 to every student. It was a concrete lesson in fairness. That is the paradigm in which she operates.”
Bridgette Sahlin, 2nd grade team member: “In the past 7 years I have had the distinct honor and privilege of witnessing her influence on other faculty, students and members of her community. Darla has a way of making others feel important, valued, and welcome. She carries that same feeling through to the students in her classroom. Her students know she cares and they love being around her. It is my sincere belief that she is eminently qualified to be a recipient of the Huntsman Award for Excellence in Education.”
Alicia Rudd, current Brookside principal: : "Darla is an excellent teacher. She teaches math and science to two different groups of students everyday. Her lessons are well-planned, fun and engaging. I love to walk into her classroom to witness the students with their hands “in math.” Darla’s students are touching and manipulating math problems and science experiments every day. Year after year her students score well on year-end tests, but more importantly, they walk away with the love of learning."
Emma Rich, former student: "One reason she is my favorite teacher is because she remembers my name."
Catherine Rich, parent of former students and nominating person: "Mrs. Stapel’s deep love of teaching and connection with her students was plainly evidenced last year during a unique event. During the last month of school she was diagnosed with cancer. Treatments began immediately and lasted throughout the summer and into the fall. Although she was seriously ill, she couldn’t wait until school started to meet her new students. She showed them how to face a serious problem with a positive attitude. Inspired by her courage, these brand new 2nd graders faithfully washed their hands and protected her from their sniffles. They took turns pushing her wheelchair. They learned a life lesson about bravery and not quitting. I can’t imagine a better person to teach and inspire my children."