The credit union’s Jamieson Mackay presents Stephen Steinbauer with his Appreciated Teacher award along with the donation to the school’s principal.
Stephen Steinbauer loves math. He teaches 6th grade math at Stewart Elementary in Hitchcock ISD. He is so passionate about math that he teaches it on his own time in after school tutoring. If you were to attend a tutoring session, you would find more than just 6th grade students getting extra help with their math. You might see former students coming back for help with their current math classes, parents of students who want learn more to help their own child, or even adults asking for help with college math. Yes, Mr. Steinbauer loves math.
His principal nominated him because she’s seen all of his own time he’s so willingly put in. When he’s not teaching or tutoring math, he runs an after school Glee club. When his club performs, Stephen can be seen looking on like a proud parent.
He is described as role model for the students and teachers around him. When we presented him with the award, we could certainly see why. He thanked us for the honor but had to hurry back to class because he had students waiting to learn math.
Credit union staff present Janet Wohlgemuth of MacArthur Elementary with her Appreciated Teacher Award.
A fellow teacher at MacArthur Elementary commented about Janet Wohlgemuth, “I appreciate the fact that no matter what kind of day she may be having, her priority is always the students she teaches.” When it came time to schedule her chemotherapy treatments, Janet chose Fridays so that she would be able to be at school after recovering on weekends. The students are her top priority as she put their needs ahead of her own.
Janet didn’t become a teacher, rather it was her calling. She is a teacher by nature. One of the credit union’s team members making the presentation got to catch up with her childhood girl scout leader. Even when she’s not in the classroom, Janet is a teacher.
Her principal echoed her appreciation saying, “Janet works with our struggling learners. Her dedication and consistency helps these students to achieve success just like any other student. She cares deeply and pushes for excellence.” Janet’s commitment to her students leads to their success. As we left the classroom, we couldn’t help but comment on how attentive and well behaved the class was. Janet beamed like a proud parent and gave all the credit to her students and fellow teachers.
Credit union & Crockett Elementary team members present Debra Forehand with her Appreciated Teacher Award
Debra Forehand got into teaching later in life, but according to her principal and counselor at Crockett Elementary she was born to teach. Debra will tell you the same thing and that the last three years have been among the happiest, most fulfilling of her life.
Debra has learned that her students will live up to expectations so she sets them very high. According to her counselor, those expectations are exceeded by her students in large part because Debra is continually looking for innovative ways to reach her students. The week prior to presenting her with this award, she was visited by the Goose Creek CISD Education Foundation to award her with a grant to implement innovative ideas into her classroom.
Like many teachers, Debra is a thoughtful person and thinks of others. One of Debra’s students has a parent who is deaf. Debra taught her class to sign a song so that the parent would be included in the class performance.
Credit union team members, including two of Mrs. Sauser’s former students, present her with the Appreciated Teacher Award.
If you step into Brenda Sauser’s second grade classroom at Hall Elementary, you quickly realize that Brenda is a creative teacher who understands that teaching children is both science and art. One of her long time fellow second grade teachers, Teresa Hays said of Brenda, “I am always amazed at the artistic creativity Brenda brings out of her students. She is able to find the special and unique talents of each child in her classroom. I have been very blessed to have taught next to her for over twenty years.”
Great teachers build strong relationships with students and treat them as individuals. In over 20 years at Hall, Brenda has built lasting relationships. Ask any of her own children and they each have stories of former students telling them how Mrs. Sauser was their favorite teacher. One reason is that she takes the time to get to know the children and help them explore their love of learning.
Brenda’s fellow teachers admire her and the way she interacts with students. They use words like patience and kindness to describe her. Stephanie King, Hall Principal, sums it up nicely, “Brenda is such a positive influence on her students, each and every day, year after year. She continues to bring out the best in all of her children and teach them with love and kindness.”
Credit union team members and Pasadena Memorial students with Paul Tate.
Paul Tate is the teacher that all of the students at Pasadena Memorial High want to have for World History. After just a few minutes spent with Paul we knew why. His energy and enthusiasm is contagious. Paul doesn’t just lecture the students about history, he immerses them in it by dressing as a Roman soldier, Japanese samurai or whatever period clothing the students are studying. He makes history come alive.
His passion extends to the entire school. At PMHS football games you will find Paul wearing a Mohawk and painted in black & teal. His school spirit spills over to the students and other faculty.
Paul’s ability to relate to his students helps explain his success. Paul described his journey to becoming a teacher. He got a late start but once he got going, he hit the ground running and has completely immersed himself in his school. If you ever need a pick me up or are feeling down, we suggest you find Paul Tate. We know his fellow teachers and students do the same.
The Credit Union’s CEO Linda Lukaszewski and Jamieson Mackay present Mr. Tran with the award.
When we left Mr. Tran’s classroom in Clear Falls High School, we made it about 100 feet before his class erupted into wild cheers again. We weren’t surprised considering all he does for his students. His students truly appreciate his passion for math and his desire for them to succeed. Instead of doing the two mandatory tutorials each week, Mr. Tran can be found tutoring up to six days a week including Saturdays.
One of Mr. Tran’s greatest qualities is what we at the credit union call “catching them doing it right.” He focuses celebrating student successes. He’s been known to call parents not to discuss problems but rather share those student successes.
Mr. Tran was nominated by a parent whose two students have benefited from Mr. Tran’s time and passion. That parent feels that Mr. Tran’s passion and enthusiasm was directly responsible for her student’s success. He is one of those teachers that drives students to succeed because they see his dedication. Mr Tran is truly an appreciated teacher and his students may still be cheering.
Credit union team members present Molly Savala with her Appreciated Teacher Award.
When you first meet Molly, you quickly realize that she has a smile to share with everyone. Her fourth grade bilingual students at Meador Elementary are the daily beneficiaries of Molly’s welcoming smile. But that smile touches so many more in the Meador community through the Larry’s Gifts foundation she and her husband started to honor their murdered son. Through the foundation, Molly raises funds to make sure that less fortunate PISD students receive Christmas gifts.
Molly came to the classroom later in life and once her children were grown went on to obtain her Master’s degree. She uses the counseling skills learned through her Master’s degree to help transition her students from Spanish to English with great success. Molly exemplifies the outstanding teachers who are life long learners.
The students and faculty of Meador Elementary both share in their appreciation for Molly. One coworker commented that along with her smile, Molly always has a kind word for everyone. She truly cares about people including her students, fellow teachers and her school community in return, she is a truly appreciated teacher.
We received almost 200 nominations this year and decided to award seven Appreciated Teacher Awards due to the volume and quality of the nominations. It was an inspiring and humbling experience to read through all of the nominations. Nominations came from parents of students, fellow teachers, principals, siblings, sons and daughters and spouses. We hope our teachers know that they are truly appreciated.
The 2013 Appreciated Teachers are:
Amalia Savala – Meador Elementary (Pasadena ISD)
Janet Wohlgemuth – MacArthur Elementary School (Galena Park ISD)
Paul Tate – Pasadena Memorial High School (Pasadena ISD)
Brenda Sauser – Hall Elementary (Clear Creek ISD)
Debra Forehand – Crockett Elementary (Goose Creek CISD)
Stephen Steinbauer – Stewart Elementary (Hitchcock ISD)
Dung Tran – Clear Falls High School (Clear Creek ISD)
We will post more details on each recipient in the coming days. Each recipient will receive an engraved award, a $100 honorarium and a $100 donation to their school.
We Love Teachers. We would not be who we are without you. That’s why Gulf Coast Educators Federal Credit Union will recognize at least five outstanding teachers within the credit union’s field of membership which includes all school districts in Harris, Brazoria & Galveston counties. A committee of credit union employees will select the five from all nominations received by Friday, April 26th.
Nominees should be dedicated to greatly improving the quality of education for students. The Appreciated Teacher Award recipients will be honored during Teacher Appreciation Week (May 6-10) with an award, a $100 honorarium, and a $100 donation to their school in their name.
We encourage you to nominate a deserving teacher.