Kathy Sherman, a teacher of 26 years at Ellis Elementary School, will be accepting the Teachers in Excellence award on Friday after starting a summer school program for kids.
The award is given out once a year to educators by the Utah Education Association, a union for the Logan City School district.
Sherman was nominated by another teacher at her school, Annette Peterson.
“Teachers can nominate other teachers and so she had nominated me kind of explaining what I did in this program and yep, I’ll be getting that award [Friday] night, thanks to Annette," Sherman said, "So, she was very kind.”
Sherman pitched the idea for her summer school program in 2016, when a number of non-English speaking refugees came to her school.
Sherman said there’s “a challenge both for those kids, to be able to meet their needs as well as the teacher in the regular ed classroom, plus these kids who have no English and no academics. I thought ‘We need to find a way to make up for lost time with them not being in the classroom.’”
Sherman wanted to create this summer school program to teach English and give refugee students the basics, or as she says, a “foundation of literary skills.”
She is calling the program English Summer School. Kids from all elementary schools in the district have been invited.
“One of the challenges we’re facing is transportation - like I said with funding being limited," Sherman said. "One of the big challenges right now is ‘How do I get these kids to the program that their parents work or they don’t have a car?’ So we’re kind of working through that right now."
On receiving the award, Sherman said, “Oh, it was very kind. I feel like there’s a million people who deserve it more than I do. I think the real accolades go to the people who take the time to nominate someone, because we all know great teachers, but the job is so demanding that sitting down and taking the time is something that I think is very kind. So it almost says more to Annette than it does to me but, anyway, it’s very kind.”