Unsung Heroes Magazine 2022 - Page 10


School employees honored during 2021 for making a difference

After schools were forced to shut down inperson learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic , Corbin Independent Schools began looking for ways to recognize their teachers and the outstanding work they have done to keep students engaged and learning after such a big change .
Corbin Independent School ’ s Difference Maker award is presented to an educator who is making a difference within the district and who share positive work with their schools and community .
“ We knew virtual learning was going to create some difficulties and the amazing thing that we were able to see is that our teachers have risen to that challenge ,” said aid Deputy Superintendent Cynthia Davis . “ So , through these virtual observations , we were seeing amazing teaching , we were seeing these wonderful teaching strategies being used , technology beyond things that we could have even imagined at this point .”
January 2021 ’ s Difference Maker was Tyler Faulkner , a sixth grade math teacher at Corbin Middle School .
“ Mr . Faulkner is a sixth grade math teacher at Corbin Middle School and through the virtual observations , we were able to see his use of the breakout rooms ,” said Deputy Superintendent Davis . “ What was so impressive with using these breakout rooms is it allowed the students in Mr . Faulkner ’ s class to be able to work on t h e i r assignments or to be able to do prerecorded lessons and that
Page 10 gave him the opportunity to be able to work with students one-on-one . He was able to deliver instruction , he was able to speak to students about their grade and the most important part is he was building relationships with these students , so that when they ’ re able to come back it ’ s really going to help with that transition .”
Faulkner was honored to be chosen as the district ’ s first-ever Difference Maker and he believes he actually had an opportunity to get closer to his students than ever before with the help of virtual learning .
“ W e hear lots of negative things about
this virtual learning but truly , I know that I have been able to connect with students that I may not have been able to reach if they were sitting in a classroom with 30 other of their peers ,” he said . “ So , it ’ s been awesome just to be able to connect and build relationships with all my students . And what ’ s been really neat is this week , having those students coming back into our building and just seeing the response . They already felt comfortable just being in my room and having that conversation , so we were able to get more math done because we didn ’ t have to learn about each other . They felt comfortable coming in , so that was really neat this week to see with those students coming in and just already having that relationship with them . It ’ s just been a trying year for everybody , it ’ s been a hard year for everybody but I truly feel like with this virtual component and utilizing those breakout rooms , it has been a game changer for me even moving forward past the COVID season , being able to utilize this in some capacity every year just to be able to build that relationship with the students when they ’ re not even in my classroom .”
Corbin Independent School ’ s February 2021 Difference Maker was Carla Lawson , a kindergarten teacher at Corbin Primary School .
Lawson has 19 years of experience in teaching and used virtual teaching as an opportunity get to know her kindergartners while keeping them engaged through home scavenger hunts , singing and dancing and much more . “ There ’ s lots of good things going on at Corbin Primary and some amazing staff ,” Lawson said . “ Every time somebody would email me or call me to congratulate me , I said I ’ m very humbled — this could have easily gone to any teacher or staff member at Corbin Primary or any other school in our district . So , I ’ m truly humbled by that award .” Lawson shared some of the obstacles she has ran into with teaching kindergarteners virtually but discussed how she was able to make the best out of a difficult situation . “ One of my biggest concerns was how was I going to reach these students virtually and build a relationship with them because I feel like that is the very , upmost important thing that we can do , especially with the littles is build that relationship first and then move forward ,” she said . “ So , I kind of thought about , you know , if I was in person , I would do this and so , how can I make that work virtually ?”
Lawson said to do this , she has one-on-one virtual meetings with students if necessary and chooses a star student each week to honor for their hard work .
“ Kudos to the Corbin school system and the amazing staff ,” she said . “ Anybody in the school system could have gotten this award .”
Bo Roaden , a special education teacher at the Corbin Educational Center , was selected as the Difference Maker for the month of March .
“ Anybody who knows Bo knows he ’ s just a big teddy bear — he just doesn ’ t like the world to know that ,” said board chair Kim Croley . “ He has really gone above and beyond this year , making sure that students at that school have the things that they need at home , food , just really reaching out and making sure everybody is doing well , in a time where some of those students already have some issues for all kinds of different reasons , a little bit different