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home : milestones : milestones May 22, 2015

10/23/2013 11:11:00 AM
VIP teachers spark curiosity and nurture students
Gwen Walton (left) and Mindy Chavez (right)
Gwen Walton (left) and Mindy Chavez (right)

Sue Tone

Gwen Walton teaches fourth grade at Humboldt Elementary School where she encourages those students who sometimes fade into the background or fall between the cracks.

Classroom aide Mindy Chavez' calm presence and keen observation creates a dependable, stable rock for students with emoational disabilities.

Each month during the school years, the Humboldt Unified School District Governing Board meets at one of the district's nine schools.

Host principals have the opportunity to feature one certified and one staff member as the district's VIP employees of the month.

HES Principal Cole Young nominated Walton and Chavez for the Oct. 1 board meeting, which he was unable to attend. Danny Brown, HUSD director of Federal Programs and School Improvement, stepped in to honor the two women.

Chavez has worked at HES for six years, and three of her four children attend the school - number four is a future student still. Young said the average career for an aide in the ED classroom tops out at two years, yet Chavez' dedication and passion continue to make a difference in the lives of her students.

"She has a way about her that creates a calmness and understanding during those moments that are anything but calm," he wrote. "These strengths have found her to be a rock in our programs and student success."

Chavez currently is pursuing a career in education, in addition to her fulltime job and parenting four children.

Young said Walton uses "creative lessons and thought-provoking methodologies, questioning strategies and rigor" with her fourth-graders. These lessons inspire interest and curiosity and provide an opportunity for all students to succeed.

"Mrs. Walton demonstrates an ability to reach children that most educators would allow to blend into the background and fall between the cracks," he wrote.

In addition to her classroom work, Walton helps coach track, sponsor a sewing club, works on the social committee, and helps with the Booster Club.

"It is an incredible understatement to say Mrs. Walton goes above and beyond," Young said.

Superintendent Paul Stanton presented both with a certificate of appreciation and candy.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Sunday, October 27, 2013
Article comment by: M Bail

Gwen is a great teacher!

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