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Southlake Style

Westlake Academy Honors Teacher of the Year

Jun 11, 2015 07:55AM ● By Audrey Sellers

In May, Westlake Academy honored six teachers for being finalists as Teacher of the Year at a special staff appreciation luncheon. Finalists included Nicole Bauer, Shannon Ward, Suzi New, Rhoda Hahn, Stephanie Alexander and Amanda Bunch.

Rhoda Hahn was the recipient of the 2015 Teacher of the Year award, the second teacher in the Academy's history to be awarded this honor. Last year the tradition began with fourth grade teacher Kat Calzini taking the honor.

A selection committee coordinated by the Campus Leadership Team (CLT) selected the winner. The CLT is made up of students, teachers, administration, and community members from Westlake and Keller. After submissions to the team from parents, students, teachers and staff, the list was narrowed to six nominees.

The selection committee makes their decision based on several criteria including teaching 21st century skills, using new competencies graduates need, instilling International Baccalaureate (IB) values, classroom atmosphere, the culture of how a teacher insures students to be good learners, and knowledge the teacher has in their respective area of expertise.

Hahn received a plaque to remember this honor, and was awarded with $1,500 to use for personal or professional development from the academy’s parent-teacher organization, the WA House of Commons. At the luncheon, quotes from students, parents and teachers about all of the finalists were placed on the centerpiece of each table:

“Ms. Hahn quickly became my favorite teacher! I am so glad I was able to get her as a teacher this year because she really helps me. I can't wait for her classes!” a student wrote. “Ms. Hahn’s teaching style is fun, fresh yet passionate. She drives accountability and makes learning challenging yet fun, inquisitive and mind expanding,” are sentiments from a parent.