Granite Education Foundation (GEF) and Coller Industries Incorporated are working together, again!
Every year, Granite Education Foundation supporters gather to recognize outstanding teachers, administrators and community members whose personal commitment and contribution impacts 67,000 students in the Granite School District.
The annual EXCEL Award publicly honors and recognizes educators who raise the bar of their profession. The award recognizes teaching that incites intellectual curiosity in students, engages them thoroughly in the enterprise of learning, and has a lifelong impact.
Winners are nominated by school administrators, parents, colleagues and students through an intensive application process. A selection committee then reviews each application. Members of this Excel Selection Committee then surprise each winner at their school with the announcement. This interaction was recorded and shared at the presentation event.
The committee received over a thousand nominations and had to select only ten winners.
Gary Coller, President of Coller Industries, said, “I look forward to this every year, it’s an honor to be around great educators and dedicated professionals who support them. (With ten great teachers honored), and I was able to present an award to a teacher whose mother has also been recognized as a teacher of the year.”
Emily Lehnardt believes that children are perfect candidates for her to “awaken” the human spirit to love life-long learning. She feels children exude great curiosity and seemingly limitless creativity.
Emily applies Dr. Einstein’s teaching philosophy in her classroom. She believes Dr. Einstein lived in creative expression and knowledge. His creativity through experiments gave the world cutting-edge information.
“Ms. Lehnardt is exactly what my son needed in first grade. Her passion for teaching and learning shines through and really inspired him to love going to school.” -Parent
Ramona Braunberger, Marketing Manager for Coller Industries, said, “Emily is the educator you want (for your child). It is very apparent that she cares about the kids and is excited about teaching.”
During the gala, each winner received a special “Excel Award,” a gift basket, a monetary award, and other generous gifts to recognize their achievements.
“Every year we have the phenomenal opportunity to recognize educators who exemplify the values and mission of Granite School District,” said Dr. Martin W. Bates, Granite School District Superintendent.
“These individuals have demonstrated exceptional teaching skills and a commitment to student success. In addition, they provide meaningful contributions to their school community, and are constantly seeking ways to improve the educational experience of their students,” said Dr. Bates.
Emily Lehnardt – Cottonwood Elementary
Sheri Coats – Armstrong Academy
Sarah Wilson – South Kearns Elementary
Zachary Layton – Eisenhower Jr High
Wendee Johnston – Whittier Elementary
Yvonne Miller – Fremont Elementary
Rhonda Small-Oakes – Hartvigsen
Anita Ardi – Churchill Jr High
Callah Morrey – West Kearns Elementary
Craig Stauffer – Hunter High
Research shows that students with high-performing teachers can progress three times as fast as students with low-performing teachers. Effective educators can influence the climate of the entire school. Their commitment, passion, expertise, and creativity are infectious. Students love them because they make learning fun and engaging. Administrators love them because they get results. Parents love them because they affirm their student’s potential.
In the face of increasing class sizes and insufficient funding and resources, the majority of Granite District teachers are dipping into their own pockets and their own time to bridge the gap for their students. Educators are finding progressive and engaging solutions to institutional problems and changing the world, one child at a time.
Coller Industries is proud to be a part of this process. While our role is small in comparison to these educators, we are still happy that we get to take part. Our children’s education has a direct impact on our business as we like to focus on working in our community. Helping out our local community is a large part of what defines the generosity of Coller Industries Incorporated.