Twoteachers honored

Published on Thu, Apr 7, 2005 by ack Kintner

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Two teachers honored

By Jack Kintner

Blaine school district administrators honored two long-time faculty members as Teacher of the Year at the last school board meeting. Both were nominated by parents of students currently in their classes.
Nominations were submitted to Blaine school district superintendent Dr. Mary Lynne Derrington’s office, and Derrington along with other administrators chose Blaine high school teacher Jeff Worthy and Blaine primary school teacher Terre Shapiro.

The nomination automatically places them in the running for teacher of the year in the Anacortes Educational Service District (ESD), of which Blaine is a member. The winner there goes on to state level competition and from that to national competition.

A native of Pullman and a 1991 graduate of Washington State University, Worthy came to Blaine in 1994 after a brief stint at Asotin junior-senior high school in eastern Washington.

A popular teacher, Worthy has sections of ninth, 10th and senior English. “For freshman the job is to prep them for advanced placement (AP) literature classes as juniors and seniors. For seniors I try to get them ready for their senior project and how they’ll be expected to write for that and in their first years of college,” he said.

Worthy majored in education and also carried an academic major in English as an undergraduate, and minored in physical education. Still trim at 36, Worthy was the captain of his high school football team, the Pullman Greyhounds and also wrestled.

He and his wife Margot have two children, William, age five, and Emily, age two. When asked if he gets much sleep, he just laughed.
Terre Shapiro grew up on a potato and wheat ranch near Grafton in North Dakota’s Red River Valley. After graduating from Concordia College in Moorehead, Minnesota, she came to Blaine in 1989 after four years in her first school in Lincoln City, Oregon, and said she is, “absolutely thrilled with the way this community supports the schools, and the support the parents have for the students.”

Widowed after the death of her husband Alan, who was principal of Blaine primary at the time of his death, Terre is the mother of David, active boy scout and sports nut, she said another element in what makes Blaine schools so good is the kind of leadership shown by the district administration.

“They know the teachers and staff well enough that they can give control back to the teachers. They trust them,” Shapiro said.
She takes her first grade class, “Shapiro’s Heroes,” on weekly walks all over town to learn about the community. “The lesson is that we want to expand the care we have for each other to include our community, and we’ve got places all over town we go visit, like the library or businesses like Cost Cutter.”

Shapiro has taught both first and third grade, two grades that she says are “very different. The first grade are what I call blooming readers, just coming alive, and yet I also like the independence of the third graders.”

Terre said that with both groups, when all the pieces are in place, “with family support and your kids are with you and you’ve got the curriculum mapped out it’s like a well-oiled machine, it just flows together so well.”