Silt educator earns ‘My Favorite Teacher’ award
SILT, Colorado – Cactus Valley Elementary teacher Sheila Allen and her former student Donovan Hill are going to Grand Junction today for Allen to receive the “My Favorite Teacher” award at the Barnes & Noble bookstore.Donovan, now a fourth-grade student at Cactus Valley, nominated Allen for the award, and she was selected as the winner for the Grand Junction store from 42 entries. They are going to the bookstore with their families for a special ceremony and reception today.Allen will then be entered into a regional competition hosted by the bookseller.”I am very humbled,” Allen said Friday. “Donovan’s great-grandmother told him, ‘I want you to do this,’ and he chose me. It took him three or four hours to write this letter.”As Donovan notes in his letter, he took first grade for two years with Allen. She said he still comes to her classroom to visit.”He always comes back and gives me hugs,” she said.Allen has been teaching for 27 years. She started in Carbondale in 1977, and after taking a few years off to start a family, she taught at Wamsley Elementary in Rifle and then Cactus Valley in Silt. She’s teaching second grade this year, moving up a grade with her students after teaching them first grade last year.Allen will be leaving the Garfield Re-2 district this spring and will start teaching this fall at St. Stephen’s School in Glenwood Springs.”I love children, and I love to see them grow academically, to get that spark in their eyes when it makes sense, when they make connections,” she said.That academic achievement happened for Donovan, but he also mentions how Allen taught him to sing and draw.”It’s important to teach to the whole child,” Allen said. “Art and creativity is just as important as reading, writing and math. Without any one of these, the chain isn’t complete.”At today’s event, the Barnes & Noble bookstore staff will present Allen with a set of 10 Sterling Children’s Classics books for the Cactus Valley school library, and they will present Donovan with a certificate of recognition.The Barnes & Noble “My Favorite Teacher” program provides students with the opportunity to tell their communities how much they appreciate their teachers. For teachers who are selected to win at the regional and national level, awards include cash prizes for the teachers and schools and the bookseller’s NOOK™ eBook Reader.
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