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BP recognizes ten Anchorage teachers of excellence


ANCHORAGE (April 11, 2013) Ten teachers will be honored as 2013 BP Teachers
of Excellence for the Anchorage School District. The 18th Annual BP Teachers
of Excellence awards event will be held at Alaska Native Heritage Center on
April 25 at  6 p.m.

The Anchorage BP Teachers of Excellence are: 
 Tatiana Beck, Ursa Major Elementary School
Linda Bender, Trailside Elementary School
Ellen R. Frohlich, Abbott Loop Elementary School
Mary Henry, Chinook Elementary School
Mary Anne Schallert,  Anchorage Waldorf School
Lakhita Banks, Clark Middle School
Ben W. Colson,SAVE High School
Debbie LaRue, Chugiak High School
Donn Liston, Nine Star Education Services
David Nix, King Career Center

The BP Teachersof Excellence program recognizes teachers from throughout
Alaska for their dedication to teaching andfor inspiring students. The BP
Teachers of Excellence program expanded last year becoming available to all
Alaska school districts. Nearly 1,400 nominations were received this year.
The ten Anchorage teachers are among more than 30 Alaska educators being
honored as 2013 Teachers of Excellence.

Each BP Teacher of Excellence receives a $500 gift card and an award
certificate. In addition, the teacher's school receives a matching $500
grant. One Anchorage teacher will be chosen as BP's Teacher of the Year to
be announced at the April 25 reception. That teacher will receive a $1,500
scholarship for continuing education and a bronze sculpture by Alaska artist
Mary Regat.

"Recognizing outstanding Alaska educators is among the most rewarding and
important aspects of BP's investment in Alaska," said Phil Cochrane, Vice
President of External Affairs, BP Exploration (Alaska). "It is an honor to
say thank you to these teachers who areinvesting themselves to make sure
Alaska's young people are receiving the best possible education as they head
down the path to future success."

Teachers of Excellence bios:

Tatiana Beck teaches kindergarten at Ursa Major Elementary School. Knowing
kindergarten is the foundation of a child's learning, she strives for a safe
and nurturing environment and works to give her students confidence so they
know they can achieve. Working in a school on Ft. Richardson, Beck has the
additional challenge of teaching children of deployed service members. Beck
knows teaching isn't just in the classroom, and her curriculum includes many
field trips involving art and the great Alaska outdoors.

Linda Bender teaches music at Trailside Elementary School. She sets her
expectations high and believes music is a subject in which every child can
find success. Teaching with humor and love, Bender works to foster a love of
arts in all her students. For the past 24 years she has taken her choirs
into the community on concert tours where they perform for the elderly,
police and firefighters, and at various community events across the city.

Ellen R. Frohlich teaches kindergarten at Abbott Loop Elementary School. She
believes success in the classroom comes when the teacher acts as a guide, a
child's natural curiosity is allowed to help direct the learning, and
respect for all things and people is promoted. Frolich invites students to
help direct the lessons and units of study, finding they are motivated to
work harder and master skills necessary to reach their goals. Opening her
classroom to high school and college students interested in early childhood
education keeps her on her toes and motivates her to keep her teaching

Mary Henry teaches first grade at Chinook Elementary School. In our
technological society, she knows a key to success in the classroom is
technology integration, and she teaches using an interactive white board
that allows her to continually modify and improve her lessons. She also puts
great emphasis on independent reading and word study with a system of points
and rewards for students. Believing parents are important partners in
learning, she sends home a weekly parent newsletter outlining what is being
taught in the classroom.

Mary Anne Schallert is the orchestra director and strings teacher at
Anchorage Waldorf School. She believes music is a great medium for
self-expression and offers a chance to bring people together. When teaching
music, she also incorporates the history and politics from the time a piece
was written along with the physics of an instrument. Schallert mentors many
local community ensembles and encourages her students and their families to
play and appreciate music together.

Lakhita Banks teaches social studies and law at Clark Middle School. She
inspires students to learn and achieve by building a positive rapport with
each child. Her goal is for students to feel respected, safe to learn, and
safe to make mistakes. She makes history and government come alive by having
simulated congressional hearings in her classroom and having her students
engage with the Mountain View Community Council on issues that impact the
neighborhood where they live. Banks also leads an annual cultural
extravaganza where students and community members share regalia, food and
traditional song/dance.

Ben W. Colson teaches social studies at SAVE High School. The key to
educational success in Colson's classroom is treating each student with
respect and acknowledging their individual learning styles. He aims to make
each assignment relate to life experiences and promotes the idea that we are
all life-long learners. For the past decade he has taken students to
Washington, D.C. with the Close Up program, a trip that for many will be a
once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see our nation's capital and government at
work. By promoting student involvement in community service efforts he helps
build a sense of pride in his students as they integrate themselves into the
community where they will become productive members.

Debbie LaRue teaches U.S. history and government at Chugiak High School. Her
core values in education include the belief that each student has the
potential to be successful and deserves to be treated with respect. She
believes showing students you believe in their potential allows them to
believe in themselves and feel inspired to learn. In over 20 years of
teaching, LaRue has helped design many curricula and programs used for
history and government classes in the Anchorage School District. Her
students are encouraged and required to compete in World Quest and National
History Day and to get involved in their community as an active citizen.

Donn Liston teaches adult basic education at Nine Star Education Services.
As the high school completion teacher and GED instructor, Liston works hard
to promote and motivate the individual who has returned as an adult to
complete a high school education. Being a good role model of lifelong
learning and successful living, he demonstrates to his students that
education has value and having a high school diploma is crucial for success.
After working in journalism, public relations and politics, Liston became a
certified teacher at the age of 52 and now works every day to help adults
find their own paths to achievement and success.

David Nix teaches automotive maintenance technology at the King Career
Center. Nix has an undying belief in the automotive industry as a viable and
employable career. Through his curriculum, hands-on training, and speakers
from the business world, students are given real life skills and knowledge
for a career in automotive repair. He believes any teacher can be successful
with the best and brightest students, but the best teachers are the ones who
can help the students who struggle in school to become better students and
people. Each year some of his students compete in the Ford/AAA Auto Skills
Challenge, a nationwide competition of student auto skills.
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