• School district names top teacher

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  • Katie Peterson | Staff Writer
    A Bradley Elementary School first-grade teacher is the 2018 Unified School District 207 Teacher of the Year.
    Doti Baragary will go on to represent the district for the 2018 Kansas Teacher of the Year.
    Staff from each school nominated fellow teachers, and a selection committee comprised of curriculum instructional specialists and teachers from all four district schools made the selection.
    The nominees were Baragary; Amy Jo Moore, kindergarten teacher at Eisenhower Elementary School; Nancy Boatright, special education teacher at MacArthur Elementary School; and Penny Paradies, language arts teacher at Patton Junior High School.
    “This was an extremely difficult decision. All four candidates are amazing educators, however we had to choose one,” said Jackie Zimmerman, Eisenhower curriculum and instructional specialist who served on the selection committee. “Doti looks at teaching as a privilege she gets to do every day. She feels having the opportunity to make an impact on a child’s life is truly an amazing experience.”
    Baragary has been teaching at Bradley for seven years. Her first year she taught sixth grade before transitioning to first grade for the past six years. For the last five years, she has served as a representative for Bradley first grade in the guiding coalition as well as on the textbook adoption committee, the Bradley building leadership team, the Bradley social committee as chair and the Bradley representative for the district accreditation committee.
    “Doti is an energetic teacher who believes in doing what is best for her students. She is actively involved with the district on many levels,” said Bradley Principal Michaela Culkin. “She is dedicated to her students and works with them to help them grow socially and academically. Her students love to come to school every day and learn.”
    Two of Baragary’s students agreed there is one subject in particular they most enjoy with their teacher.
    “I like her because she is fun to work with and because I like how she teaches math,” said Bradley first-grader Lucy Milkovich. “I like the work she does.”
    “She is very good and very fun. I like math because it is a very fun challenge,” said Bradley first-grader Jacob Allen.
    Bradley first-grader Aliya Taylor said she likes having Baragary as her teacher.
    “I like that she is really nice and helps us learn,” Taylor said. “Sometimes she lets us play games, too.”
    Kylie Waite, Bradley curriculum instructional specialist, said Baragary does more than prepare her students for academic success.
    “Doti teaches to the whole child,” Waite said. “While academic success is extremely important, social skills are critical in Doti’s interactions with her students, too. Even with the first grade, Doti is teaching students how to be successful citizens and future leaders of our community and world.”
    Page 2 of 2 - Baragary said she felt honored to be chosen as District Teacher of the Year.
    “As a teacher, to be recognized for what I do each day by my peers and administrators is a truly amazing feeling. I come to work each day to help students meet their goals and teach them to be the best they can be inside and outside the classroom,” Baragary said. “I draw my motivation and reward each day from my students, not expecting to be recognized by my co-workers and administrators.”
    “I believe that the most profound effect that I can have on a student that enters my classroom is to build a relationship with them,” she said. “By getting to know my students personally, academically and socially I am able to build a learning environment around what will specifically work best for them. I believe every student that enters my classroom has the ability to learn and that, through the process of building relationships and high-quality instruction, I control how great that growth is.”
    The 2018 Kansas Teacher of the Year will be announced in September.
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