Yuma, AZ (March 29, 2018) - Arizona Western College’s 2018 Teacher of the Year honorees are Sarah Berner, Professor of Agricultural Science, and Cindy Marchant, Adjunct Faculty of Communications.
Over 300 nominations by students and staff were collected for this prestigious honor. Winners are selected based on exemplary performance in the classroom; being accepted and respected by their colleagues and administrators; being innovative, creative and enthusiastic; being involved in professional enrichment; demonstrating outstanding contributions and/or leadership in their workplace and beyond; and exhibiting a willingness to share their expertise with others.
Berner and Marchant will be recognized at the 31st Annual Teacher of the Year banquet at the Yuma Civic Center on Tuesday, April 24. They will also receive a tuition waiver for three credits/units at the Northern Arizona University Yuma Branch Campus for academic year 2018-2019 and have an opportunity to participate in a professional conference of their choice in 2018. Additionally, Berner will have the responsibility of selecting a student who is a high school senior or a student already attending AWC for a scholarship.
Excerpt from Sarah Berner’s Teaching Philosophy Statement:
“Educating people about the growth of food and the science, technology, and the will power that drives the industry is an extraordinary experience. A Chinese proverb states, ‘You give a poor man a fish and you feed him for a day. You teach him to fish and you give him an occupation that will feed him for a lifetime.” The ability to feed oneself is a survival trait that should be important to everyone and yet most people have very little understanding of the agricultural industry that feeds the world. People need three things to live: shelter, water, and food. I have the opportunity to provide the knowledge that can equip people with at least one of those requirements.”
Excerpt from Cindy Marchant’s Teaching Philosophy Statement:
“Learning should be enjoyable. I believe both the student and the teacher should enjoy the class. I think the classroom environment is key to accomplishing this task. From my experience, when a student learns they have to take a public speaking class, many go straight into panic mode. In my personal life, when I meet new people and I say I teach public speaking, I often hear, ‘I hate public speaking!’ So, there is a negative perception to public speaking, and a lot of fear and apprehension from students going into the course. It is my job to make the students realize that public speaking doesn’t have to be such a negative experience. I incorporate fun examples, and impromptu speeches throughout the class. When a student gives an impromptu speech holding a turkey baster and must explain to the class why it is his or her favorite thing in the world- student barriers tend to go down. I also don’t take myself too seriously, and show the students that it is okay to make mistakes!”
Director for CTE/Professor of Early Childhood Education
Arizona Western College