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Janet Sanders – West Hill Middle School

I have wanted to nominate Janet Sanders for this award and recognition for a while and finally have gotten around to it. There is really no better teacher out there that deserves it more. Janet is an amazing teacher and person. In the 3 years I have worked with her she has been my mentor and department head. She is both thoughtful and caring in every way. On top of being a U.S. History teacher she is also a Geography teacher and one of the school mentors. That job consists of so much more than helping new teachers reach their full potential. It also has her going without a prep period. With that time, she observes other teachers simply to help them in any way she can or to give accolades to those that need it. She works so hard to ensure her students have the best possible learning experience and worries everyday about her level of instruction and if it’s at its best level. She works till later than anyone most days. Her mandate is to help in every way she can and she lives that mantra. Janet is also a mother and wife which keeps her very busy.

Janet has spent many days talking to me about her concerns and her students, how she can help them and how she can do better. She is always looking to be better and reach a higher level of teaching. It’s her humility that makes her the best teacher around. Janet also uses her experiences to connect with her students. She is an example of success. From early in her life she learned firsthand what hardship is. Her mother died when she was very young. She survived cancer. Learned compassion from those experiences and lovingly shows that to her students. Because of her experiences and her willingness to use her experiences to connect to her students she is undeniably a more effective teacher and has made lasting, powerful impressions that has changed lives, recorrected behaviors, and altered paths to lead from potential darkness, to a brighter future.

Every year in her Geography classes her and the other Geography teachers select a family, student, or individual that has had a hard time, trying experience, or experienced a great loss. They award them with 1,000 folded oragami cranes, that the 9th Geography classes fold, and the wish that comes along with it. According to Japanese tradition, anyone with the patience and commitment to fold 1,000 paper cranes will be granted their most desired wish, because they have exhibited the cranes’ loyalty and recreated their beauty. This is a gesture that has been awarded to many in need and has been welcomed by those that receive it. Janet Sanders is an exemplary teacher and would never want to be recoginized for the wonderful job she does. For this reason and the ones previously mentioned she should get this award. Thank you for your time and for your consideration.

-Nathan Mohler