ALTON -- Julie Thompson, a third grade teacher at Alton Elementary School, is being recognized for her creativity and success in the classroom as a Disney Teacher Award nominee. Thompson joins an elite group of teachers from across the country who have been recognized by their communities.
As the next step in the awards process, she is now submitting an application to be considered for the 2006 Disney Teacher of the Year Award.
Thompson noted, "I have been truly blessed with the opportunity to collaborate with wonderful patrons, parents and students of my community. I believe that my success as an educator has a direct correlation with the positive support of my administration, colleagues and family. I am humbled to know I can make a difference in the life of my students by what I say and how I convey myself in the classroom. It is a privilege to have my name placed into nomination for the 2006 Disney Teacher Award."
Alton School Superintendent Sheila Wheeler stated, "We are very pleased that Mrs. Thompson has been recognized for her outstanding contribution to our students' education. She has shown herself to be a leader among our faculty on the use of technology and progressive instructional techniques in the classroom. I commend her for her successes."
Since 1989, Disney Teacher Awards have been presented to teachers who construct learning environments where students and teachers alike explore, imagine and engage in a variety of stimulating ideas and experiences. Specifically, the program honors those teachers whose approaches exemplify creativity in teaching and who inspire a joy of learning in their students.
"Sixteen years ago, we started celebrating local heroes by establishing the annual Disney Teacher Awards to celebrate and honor America's finest educators," said Terry Wick, vice president of Disney Worldwide Outreach. "This nomination process shows thousands of teachers across the country how much their work means to their students, colleagues and communities."
In addition to letters of recommendation, Thompson will submit an application that includes several professional reflection essays describing her classroom and approach to teaching, the impact of high stakes testing, how she approaches collaboration in her high school career and an experience that shaped her as a teacher. A committee comprised of education experts from around the country will review the nominee applications and select the 2006 Disney Teacher Award honorees.
The honorees will be announced in late spring and celebrated at a red carpet awards gala in July. During the gala, four honorees will be selected as Outstanding Teachers and one will be named the 2006 Disney Teacher of the Year. In addition, the honorees each receive a $10,000, a $5,000 grant for their schools and a six-day professional development institute with their principals at the Walt Disney World Resort. At the institute, teachers share ideas to refine their innovative teaching approaches and learn how to engage other teachers to build an effective collaborative teaching culture at their schools.