J. Christian Bollwage Finance Academy
Teacher of the Year
Degrees and Certifications:
When I set off to college, I did not have a specific career in mind yet. I was always very artistic, creative and into the arts but also had a love for little children and teaching. Playing "school” was always my favorite thing to play growing up. Unfortunately, the college I was enrolled in did not offer the educational degree path that I might’ve selected to major in so I pursued my education in Art Management which allowed me the business side along with an artistic edge. After working in design for about fifteen years, I was not the happiest with my career choice and decided to pursue a career in education.
As an ESL teacher and having students of a multitude of backgrounds, languages and ethnicities I am always incorporating their cultures to engage them. I am a big on teaching to all modes of the English language acquisition. Most of my lessons have a theme or concept followed by centers: There are usually four one for each: listening, speaking, reading and writing. This way when completed the student will have practiced the targeted skill or concept in all four domains hoping they grasped it in at least one of the domains.
My connections with my students also makes me an effective teacher. As an ESL teacher I form bonds that last a long time. Often in small groups we become very close and form great relationships.
My students are connected to the world around them because we talk. We talk about what is going on in the world locally, in the state, in our nation and internationally. They teach me about what is going on in the social media world.
As educators it is our jobs to always give our students encouragement and never discourage in any way. We don't realize how we have an effect on the children who come in to our lives every day for the rest of their lives. We help shape, mold and form them into who they become.
Educational Service Professional of the Year
Degrees and Certifications:
My name is Omar Veloz, I started my career in education as a computer teacher and realized that student’s career readiness was key for success in furthering their education. However, I noticed that to make an impact district wide our colleagues had to be trained in the pertinent programs to help our students. The opportunity came along to do just that when the pandemic started, and our district went virtual. During the pandemic I had the pleasure of training all our educators and helping them make a positive impact on their instructional preparedness for student instruction.
I am proud of what we have accomplished in the classroom.
We have built a culture of technology proficient teachers that inspire our students everyday.