The Alliance for Education has announced this year’s Philip P. Swain Excellence in Education Award winners. Of the six winners citywide, two are from West Seattle!
Huong Nguyen teaches math at West Seattle High School. From the nomination form sent by principal Ruth Medsker:
‘Ms. Huong’ works tirelessly to ensure that all students entrusted to her succeed. She teaches Intensified Algebra, which is our most supported extended block math class, Algebra I and Advanced Placement Calculus. Ms. Huong is blazing the trail at West Seattle High School for Standards Based Grading. She is currently in the process of developing performance rubrics to help students understand what their learning outcomes need to be. When students do not meet standard on a learning target, she provides additional support for the student to relearn the skill and opportunities to demonstrate mastery. An example of her relentless push to standard is a letter she is sending home to families this week. Each Algebra student who has a C or lower and a MAP score of 240 or less is getting a letter and a call inviting the student to after-school tutoring/support. Our data shows that these students are just under where they need to be pass the Algebra End of Course Exam.
Also, she “has invented a math tool to help students learn basic numeracy skills. The Numero Cube System helps students learn place value, base 10 number decomposition, Factoring, Multiplication/Division, among other things.”
From Denny International Middle School, meet Swain Award-winner Leticia Clausen, photographed with some of her students:
From Denny principal Jeff Clark‘s announcement:
It is a great pleasure to announce that Ms. Leticia Clausen is a winner of the 2012 Philip P. Swain Excellence in Education Award! It was an honor for me to nominate Ms. Clausen for this award for the following reasons:
When Denny became an international school, Ms. Clausen quickly volunteered to serve as our dual-language Spanish teacher. This program is intended to give our scholars, who are fortunate enough to already speak Spanish, a chance to learn social studies and language arts in Spanish at school. This approach will help our students to be bilingual and bi-literate, while mastering academic concepts in both languages.
Even though we were starting this program without curricular materials in Spanish, Ms. Clausen was excited to start right away (without a year for planning). She did this for one reason: she knew this was what was best for our kids and knew that they didn’t have any time to waste.
We are now in our third year of Spanish dual-language. Remarkably, Ms. Clausen teaches this block class at all three grade levels! The program is flourishing—academic achievement is rising—and our families are thrilled to have this opportunity!
The Swain Award description, as also shared by Denny’s principal: “The yearly award is given to Seattle Public Schools secondary teachers or counselors who exemplify the qualities and values that distinguished Mr. Swain’s years of community stewardship. Teachers or counselors who are nominated are staff who inspire a love of learning in students while helping them reach their highest academic potential.” All six citywide winners will be honored at the Alliance’s community breakfast March 29th, and each receives a $1,000 prize.