Yoobi's 10 Teachers List | Teacher Appreciation Week 2019

We are so excited to release our very first Yoobi 10 Teachers List! We all know that teachers are constantly working miracles in the classroom and changing young lives for the better, but we don’t always hear their stories or get to meet the people who dedicate their lives to molding the future.

We’re proud to support teachers across the country by donating free school supplies to support their students and classrooms, and this list is simply a small gesture on our part to further enhance the teacher story. Because we know there are thousands of changemaker teachers out there and they deserve to be appreciated and respected.

Take a peek below at 10 Teachers who go the extra mile for their students and made the first-ever, Yoobi 10 Teachers List. 

Ada Berrios

Kindergarten Teacher

Orlando, Florida

Teaching for 20 years

Ada’s Nomination:  Kindergarten teachers are responsible for creating the very first school experience for young students. Ada lives by this reality and her dedication to crafting a positive and fun environment for her students is unmatched. For 20 years, she’s strived to be the first one to get to school and the last one to leave; on average working 12-13 hours every day at school. She’s the president of her PTA, leader of the school’s CHEER Committee which spreads joy and kind words amongst the staff, and a friend and mentor to every one of her students (many of them return to her years later for help that she willingly gives). 

Ada, what’s your teaching superpower?

Inner Strength. I am driven by my passion for teaching and this passion has enabled me to power through the profession with as much energy today as I had when I started 20 years ago – and in that time, I haven’t missed a single day! (Some of my colleagues even call me Wonder Woman!) I love what I do, and when you love what you do nothing else matters.

Ty Cook

7th Grade Science Teacher

Rossville, Georgia

Teaching for 5 years

Ty’s Nomination: There is no substitute for a teacher who infuses passion, creativity, and inclusivity in the classroom – and Ty does this effortlessly. He always strives to make EVERY student feel welcomed, loved, accepted and safe. He incorporates technology, classroom pets, and has even created a classroom garden to make learning a hands-on and fun experience for his students. Ty has inspired students so they’re truly excited by learning - students race down the hallway to his classroom in the morning to ask what they’ll be doing in class later that day.

What was your most powerful teaching moment?

In my first year of teaching, I worked with students to build a garden in tandem with lessons on plants, pollination, cells, and photosynthesis. While building the garden, a student who had been disengaged and struggling all year, transformed into a child I had never seen. He was the first to the garden, would seek me out to tell me tips on how to build planters, and one morning showed up early to school with his father’s toolset. It was in this moment I realized that every student has talent and passion that needs to be discovered and nurtured, and as teachers, we need to provide opportunities for them to show their abilities. Had we not gone the extra mile and built that garden, I may have always misjudged that student and missed seeing his absolutely incredible potential.

Christina Hanson

6th and 7th Grade Language Arts

LaSalle, Illinois

Teaching for 13 years

Christina’s Nomination: Christina goes above and beyond to ensure her students share in her enthusiasm for reading. She buys books with her own money “All. The. Time.” to add to her classroom’s personal library of over 2,000 books that her students can borrow. She coordinates Skype sessions for her students to meet and talk to authors so they can see the face behind their favorite book and ask questions about the story and writing process. She wants her students to become lifelong readers and spares no expense in ensuring they do.

What’s your favorite teaching pro-tip?

Read books your students are reading! It’s important we “walk our talk.” If we are telling our students to read, but we aren’t, how can we expect them to take us seriously? Reading what our students do can spark conversation and enable us to give a genuine book talk or recommendation. I have a wall in my classroom that says, “What is Mrs. Hanson reading?” where I print off the covers of books I have finished, books I’m currently reading, or books I am reading next. It’s amazing how many questions I get from my class and how book truly can bring teachers and students closer together.

Ashley Ramirez

5th Grade Teacher

San Antonio, Texas

Teaching for 8 years

Ashley’s Nomination: Ashley creates opportunities for her students to connect and collaborate within the classroom and beyond. She amplifies learning by incorporating video conferencing into lessons for her students to connect with other classrooms around the world for global perspectives. She invites students to share news articles so the classroom is educated on current events. She’s created a completely safe space for critical thinking and deep reflection that’s enhanced the learning experience and enabled a strong classroom community for her students. 

What’s your teaching superpower?

I’m really good at getting tiny pencils that are stuck in the pencil sharpeners out! That takes real talent. J But in reality, my power comes in creating moments for students and families to learn together. I’m passionate about it and helped to bring this year’s Science Night to life for our teachers, students, families, and community, and can’t wait for the next powerful event/moment! 

Brittany Sinitch

It's Teacher Appreciation Week. Take a peek below at 10 Teachers who go the extra mile for their students and made the first-ever, Yoobi 10 Teachers List.

9th Grade English & Drama

Parkland, Florida

Brittany’s Nomination: Brittany is a teacher whose passion and courage inspires those around her. As the @FiveFootOneTeacher, she’s constantly sharing creative and unique teaching tips so other teachers can go the extra mile in their classrooms. Most importantly, she’s putting those tips into practice in her own classroom and impacting the lives of students every day, at the high school she herself attended Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

What’s the most powerful moment you ever had while teaching? There have been a lot of powerful moments and for that I am grateful. Being a teacher is such a powerful job. Most recently I would have to say hugging my students after we realized that we raised over $100k for the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.

Lauren Carr

1st Grade

Los Angeles, California

Teaching for 4 years

Lauren’s Nomination: Lauren knows that every minute of the day is an opportunity to continue to build meaningful relationships with her students, and she never wastes a moment! She holds lunch club each week where students are welcome to eat with her and chat about anything from their soccer game to the latest book they’ve read. She is genuinely interested in getting to know her students and she acts on it – like purchasing her students’ favorite books to ensure reading is fun. She creates a learning environment where every student is valued and knows it, and where every student feels loved.

What’s your teaching superpower? I have mastered the teacher stare. One glance, no words, and students understand my redirection. It’s pretty incredible.

Rob Ledo

7th – 12th Grade

Lino Lakes, Minnesota

Teaching for 26 years

Rob’s Nomination: Rob humbly changes lives at an alternative learning school where he often works with students who have emotional and behavioral issues that make it challenging for them to be successful in the classroom. He pours himself into his work, which he absolutely does not consider work, and forms life-long bonds with his students, built on a “bedrock of healthy, meaningful and respectful relationships,” as he puts it. He plays basketball and has gone to church to support and engage his students, and when times are tough, he volunteers to serve Thanksgiving meals and has personally purchased Christmas gifts for all the students.

What is the biggest myth about teaching? That a child’s success is measured by their grade or how well they can memorize something and spit it back for an exam.  It takes failure to help us achieve success. Getting straight As does not guarantee one success in the world; however, knowing how to think for yourself and work successfully with others will always move you forward. A teacher’s job is to model, guide and encourage young people to become active, engaged and positive adults.  

Staci Lamb

9th Grade

Elton, Maryland

Teaching for 6 years

Staci’s Nomination: Staci goes above and beyond to create a learning environment that sparks creativity and learning in her classroom. Whether it’s with music, decorations, props or flair, she takes learning to the next level to transform boring lessons and lift moods. She leads by example and wants her students to know that every day is valuable and a unique opportunity to find your purpose.

What’s the most powerful moment you ever had while teaching? Because I have incorporated Harry Potter into my classroom on a number of occasions, many of my students have realized that I have a slight (okay, maybe considerable) obsession with the books. On the second day of school this year, one of my students walked into my classroom and presented me with a present – a wand he had brought me from home. When I said I couldn’t possibly take his wand, and asked which character the wand belonged to, my student replied, “This is that wand that chose me at Universal, and I want you to have it.” That student later moved away, but I have his wand as a reminder that children are perceptive, observant and kind, and that there is magic everywhere in education.

Megan Forbes

It's Teacher Appreciation Week. Take a peek below at 10 Teachers who go the extra mile for their students and made the first-ever, Yoobi 10 Teachers List.

6th and 8th Grade

Arcadia, California

Teaching for 7 years

Megan’s Nomination: Megan is a true gem. She wants her students to know that she wants to be there with them. She’s excited to go to work every day and see her students and genuinely wants each young person to feel welcome in her class. From decorating her space in the most amazing rainbow of color, or incorporating her own passions (Hamilton!) into class, teaching is her life’s passion and it shines through in all she does.

What’s your favorite teaching pro-tip? Even though there are certain things you are required to teach, integrate the things you are passionate about. If you love art, do art projects, if you love music, make up songs with your content. When you are excited about what you're teaching every day, it will rub off on your students! 

Karen Bergantine-Bolstad

8th Grade – 12th Grade

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Teaching for 15 years

Karen’s Nomination: So many teachers are living proof that teaching is often so much more than what you do in the classroom – and Karen embodies this perfectly. She volunteers her personal time to make breakfast for students taking the ACT exam, attends her students after school sporting and extra-curricular events and often steps in to provide extra support when students face additional challenges at home.

What’s Your Teaching Super Hero Name? You could definitely call me Elastic Girl. Teaching requires you to be flexible and stretch in many different directions during the day – from differentiating lessons, correcting math papers in a single bound, consulting other teachers, researching new teaching techniques and best practices and never missing a meeting!