Lake Havasu Unified teacher honored again

Arizona Superintendent of Public Instuction visits Oro Grande.
Mrs. Sautner speaks to the Arizona School Boards Association.

Ginny Sautner, Lake Havasu High School English teacher, was awarded the Golden Bell Award at the 59th Annual Conference of the Arizona School Boards Association in Phoenix on December 14. The Golden Bell Award recognizes exemplary programs in Arizona school districts. Mrs. Sautner was selected for the award because she is the National Rural Education Association’s Teacher of the Year for 2016. Previously, she was selected as the Mohave County Rural Teacher of the Year and the Arizona Rural Teacher of the Year.

In her acceptance speech before the Arizona School Boards Association, Mrs. Sautner described how a novice teacher transitions into an experienced professional—and why highly qualified teachers decide to remain in rural districts. Answering the question of how to meet those challenges, she stated:

I see the answer in mentorship and meaningful professional development. These two concepts—intentional mentorship and meaningful lifelong learning help grow teacher leadership and keep quality teachers. No learning experience supported my teacher leadership the way National Board Certification did. The process gave me the language to describe my profession: learner, leader, collaborator. It was an affirmation that the teaching profession is really a profession of learning. Without that continuous, meaningful learning, teachers lose their autonomy, drive, vision and dedication to stay. It also broadened my consideration of who I am responsible for—it is easy for me to love my students. It’s what we do. But what about mentoring new professionals? Not just friendly conversation in the hall, but explicit and intentional coaching and support.

As a result of her presentation at the Arizona School Boards Association, Mrs. Sautner has been invited to speak at the opening session of the Arizona Legislature on January 9, 2017.

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