Two local educators have been honored by their peers for their commitment to students and learning in the Milaca School District.
First-grade teacher Bonita Blowers has been named the 2014 Milaca Elementary School teacher of the year, while business teacher Jennifer Taylor has been named Milaca High School teacher of the year.
The two were chosen among dozens of candidates by fellow school district teachers.
Blowers was called a master teacher who inspires her students to learn through creative instructional techniques and a solid knowledge of the school district’s curriculum.
Meanwhile, Taylor was honored as someone who has not only given of herself to the school district, but to the Milaca community as a whole.
Blowers was hailed for her ability to inspire young writers to author their own books and stories. She was also honored for her ability to creatively use art to deepen the understanding her students have of stories being read or subjects being studied, resulting in a heightened enthusiasm among students.
Blowers shares new ideas, implements new approaches and volunteers her leadership skills across many elementary school initiatives. At a recent school district awards ceremony, she was called a true ambassador for education, both in the Milaca school system and in the community. While being introduced as teacher of the year, Blowers was identified as an educator who approaches teaching with a sense of humor and compassion, as well as a having a supportive and cooperative relationship with her fellow teachers.
Taylor was called “outstanding in all that she does and is truly deserving of this honor,” effective in the classroom and a great ambassador of the school.
A fellow teacher said Taylor prepares exceptional lessons that engage students in five classes. She provides her students with “real world” education.
Another teacher said if you took high school students aside and asked them who their favorite teacher is, Taylor’s name would be mentioned the majority of the time.
Yet another teacher said she has fresh new ideas and projects for every class, every year.
“I think I can honestly say that our school would be lost without her,” one teacher said.
Taylor has been credited with revamping the business curriculum to fit the changing needs of a tech society and had a major influence on the district’s iPad initiative. She plays a big roll in the homecoming block party and has worked hard on bond referendum campaigns. She also helps her students run the Pack Shack and contributes to a committee charged with reinforcing positive student behavior.
Whether it’s school, her church, or Chamber of Commerce meetings, Taylor is on the front line. She also serves on the Rum River Community Foundation.