Thank you for honoring and recognizing some of the best teachers who make a difference in the lives of our children. I would like to nominate an amazing teacher for your Teacher Feature award.
Brendan McGinn has been teaching the 4th grade at Soldier Hollow Charter School for at least six years now, and he has truly made a difference in the lives of so many children. Two of my boys have had Mr. McGinn as their teacher and his impact has been felt at our home. In teaching his students math, science and other subjects I have seen kids improve (in some cases by a good margin) in their knowledge and understanding, as well as in their state testing scores. But, more importantly, he teaches all of his students to strive for excellence, to expect more of themselves and to recognize their unlimited potential.
The kids truly love Mr. McGinn. You will often find him playing dodge ball with the students at lunch, cross-country skiing with them during P.E. and taking the time to let them know they are important. At the end of school last year the 4th grade class was having a party at a student’s house. During the water fight Mr. McGinn showed up in a full rain suit and ski goggles with two giant water guns. The kids were elated to try to defeat him in their water fight.
The highlight for many in 4th grade is the three-day field trip they get to take to Moab, Utah. Mr. McGinn (along with a fellow teacher and a couple of chaperones) bravely takes the entire 4th grade to Moab to hike in the national parks and explore the red-rock canyons of Utah. He teaches the students geology, history, wildlife and plants, Native-American studies, etc. For some students it is one of their first experiences with hiking or being away from home. I have seen the kids become so excited when they discover that they can do new things even when they were a bit nervous to begin with. The students learn so much on this trip and they come away with amazing memories.
Brendan McGinn is a remarkable mentor and a gifted teacher. We are lucky to have him as a teacher at Soldier Hollow.