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98.3 The Key’s Teacher of the Month Award — Nominate Yours Now!


School is back in full swing and that means it’s time to recognize the amazing work done by teachers. Each month we’re picking a teacher to win $100 to the Teacher’s World store and a 60-minute massage from Myers Therapeutic Massage.

Nominate your favorite teacher, tell us a little about them, and because all teachers are deserving, we’ll randomly select one each month to be the winner.

Teacher Nomination

Tell us about an awesome teacher in the Mid Columbia!


Here are the stories of the teachers who have been nominated so far:

Beth Greene, Horse Heaven Hills Middle School, Science

Mrs. Greene should win because she keeps kids entertained in science and everyone in the school wants to be in her class. She also gives people a lending hand when they ask for help. She is a wonderful teacher with a huge heart and I think any kids or teen would agree with me. (plus I love her rubber ducky collection.) – Siomara Ruiz

Mitch Davis, Richland High School, Science

Mitch Davis should win because he cares about eveyone of his students. Even if they don’t necessarily like him, he will do his best so they pass his class. I had him all 4 years I was there. To watch him care and help every student he has had or has is just amazing. He is passionate about what he does. That’s is why I believe he should win. – Ashlyn Keck-Goodenough



Miss. Legard, Desert Hills Middle School, Math

Miss legard is the best teacher u could ever ask for!!!!!!!!!! She is the best! I had her in 6th grade last year and she was awsome!!! She makes the class enjoyable, is very very kind,understandes you, if you dont understand something she walks you through it, lets you come in at lunch and in the morning and after school, and is just perfect!!!!!! I love miss. Legard as a math teacher!!!! I wish I had her every year for math!! I think she desrves this soooooo much! She does so much for her students… this is why I want to do something for her! :)Shureenia Shureenia Weger

iss legard is the best teacher you could ever ask for!! I love miss.legard!!! She is the best!! She puts her time aside just to help you out. If any teacher deserves this it would be miss legard!!

She is helpful, understanding, nice, makes the class enjoyable, loves to teach, loves math, and wont let you give up because she wont give up on you. She is so inspiring to her students including me. If you need help on something she will walk you back through it. She is the best teacher I have ever had!!! She deserves this so much!!! This is why miss legard should win!! – Shureenia Shureenia Weger

Jaime Sizemore, Maya Angelou Elementary, Kindergarten

She had a kindergarten orientation for all of the parents to come and learn skills to help us teach our children at home. When she was talking about our kids, she got really emotional and told us that she loves all of our children and wants to see them succeed. She has made the transition from Pre-K to Kindergarten so easy for my son, and myself. – Jennifer Holway
Debbie Bampton, Ridgeview Elementary, 4th grade

To help her students to use more descriptive words in their writing, Mrs. Bampton made pancakes so the students could hear the sounds, taste the pancakes and use all of their senses while writing! This was great for the class and they had fun while learning. She is also a very caring teacher!- McKenzie Kelly

Julie McInturff, Southridge,  Photography

Ms. McInturff is such an amazing teacher and DECA advisor at our school. She makes sure everybody knows how to the subject before she moves on. She never yells at anybody and her hair is different every day! Ms. McInturff does more than just teach, she is our DECA advisor which means she had to keep track of money and answer any questions that students have. These are just a few of the reasons why Ms. McInturff should be the teacher of the month! – Derek Doyle

Trista Thompkins, Children’s Center, Headstart

Trista has my children’s teacher for the past two years. Teaching isn’t just about come in learn this leave to her. It’s about building relationships and helping the families grow together. Showing the parents and families how they can be the best teachers for their children. Guiding them in the right direction for help whether it’s to a local food bank or electrocute help. To a winter coats. She always has a warm welcome and smile for each if her students. They are truly “her” kids. It’s not just ABC’s and 123′s it’s about the kids and developing who they are and skills for life. – Holly Stutzman

Susan Larson, St josephs Catholic School, Kindergarten

She is an amazing teacher and works hard for her class. My daughter loves going to school and is thriving in her class. She also has 6 children of her own. She is amazing and completely deserves this. – Jessica Evans

Kirsten Brault, Jefferson Elementary School, Extended Resource Room

My son was in her class for 4 years. This is his first year with the other ERR teacher Ms.Candy Smith. Mrs. Brault is so sweet and so patient with all of the special needs children in the classes. She knows exactly how to get and keep their attention, redirect them if needed, and when to put them in refocus. The kids not only learn the “school/education” information but they learn how to create and maintain a routine and how to earn, save, and spend “money. She helps them learn to work in groups and cooperate with children they may not be getting along with at the time. She helps them learn to use their words to communicate what they want, like, dislike, and their frustrations so that they learn a better way to communicate than getting angry and physical. I honestly believe that my son would not be as far along as he is now, would not have improved so much, had he not have her a s a teacher for the past 4 years. She really deserves this. – Heather Green

Tanager Stanhope, Cascade Elementary, Special Ed / Autism class

Tanager is a fantastic woman. She’s calm and understanding and works with kids with Autism of any spectrum. My son has Aspergers and has been having a hard time in school. He was transferred to her class and is doing much better. She had kids from kindergarten to 5th grade and gives each one the time they need. I’m amazed at her patience. She’s perky and fun and the kids love her. – Dejah Felton

Laura Bulson, Columbia Basin College, Statistics

Listens to students’ concerns, and she accommodates her teaching method according to our needs. She is very nice and caring to us. We’ve never had a teacher that focused her teaching on how her students can learn the content the best way possible. She does not treat students unfairly, because she does not expect memorization and regurgitation. She always makes sure that students understand the material well before moving on to the next content. She modifies her teaching when she notices that there are learning gaps in her students based on exam results. – Sarah Aniceto

Debra Hanson, Jefferson Elementary, Preschool

Mrs Hanson is more than a teacher,she has a great big heart and very dedicated in what she does. Mrs Hanson has been a big inspiration in my life. She was my first teacher and helped me open up and become prepared to grow and learn for my future years. Everytime I run into her at school I give her a big hug and she brightens my day. Please pick Mrs Hanson she deserves it. Sincerely Eduardo 5yrs old. – Eduardo Gonzalez

Chuck Saari, Kamiakin High School, Math

Mr. Saari is not just a great teacher, he is an interpreter, taking challenging math concepts and making them intellectually tangible for students at Kamiakin High School. I had Mr. Saari as my geometry teacher my freshman year. His exceptional teaching abilities launched me onto a path where math became one of my best subjects.

Last summer, between my junior and senior year, I worked as an intern at PNNL. Without a strong foundation in math, this opportunity would never have been available to me. I have not always been able to have Mr. Saari as my teacher, but he has always made himself available before and after school to tutor and assist me in understanding concepts I struggled with.

This year, as a senior, I purposely selected to take an AP Statistics class knowing that Mr. Saari would be teaching the course. I am thankful to have started and ended my high school math with Mr. Saari, who is someone I can without hesitation recommend for a teacher’s awards.

Today, when I walked into my Statistics class, Mr. Saari greeted me with the sports section from the Tri-City Herald. On the front page was a photo of myself from our varsity volleyball game last night. I had no idea I was in the paper and it was a surprise to me and something I could share and celebrate with Mr. Saari just today. Mr Saari is not just a teacher, he is a mentor, an encourager and the foundation of the math department at Kamiakin High School.

While teaching may feel like a thankless job at times, I wanted to take a moment and “thank” Mr. Saari for all he does not only for myself, but all the students working their way though math classes at Kamiakin. – Kaileah Akker

Pam Kehret, Hanford High, Consumer Economics

When I moved schools my senior year she really made me feel like Hanford was a good school and have me a class to look forward to during the day. – Kyrstin Siler


Ms. Celski is a single mother of three that gets up every morning, and kisses her children goodbye to go and teach our children the basics of elementary education. She has always wanted to be a teacher, and delights in seeing former students doing well in school. In the future, she would like to have a former student say they wanted to be a teacher because of her classroom – Colleena Alexander

She is very passionate about her job and cares very much for her students. She is also a great mentor and great role model – Joshua Ockleston

Tabitha is so deserving of this! She loves her job and adores all of her students. I know she would love to get new books for the students in her class as they are over crowded and don’t have alot of budget money for things – Rachel Alexander


She helps you when need it and does not call you out. She always has fun teaching that always makes me want to come back in the morning. She has an awesome personality and I can only wish I had her this year. She makes me want to be a teacher my self I really hope she wins this I think she deserves this- Ryen Garcia RYen


I have been a parent volunteer in Ms. Baudrand’s class for 4 years now. This is a woman so well prepared, so understanding of children’s nature, and so patient. I learn things from Ms. Baudrand’s interaction with her students that I use in our home and in other places where I have dealings with children. Because of her, I have something good to pass along. I have seen her connect with and make a difference to every child in her classroom– from the child who knows everything and is yearning for more, to the child who doesn’t speak English and struggles to grasp anything. Ms. Baudrand can reach each child and she does. Ms. Baudrand deserves to be teacher of the month this month and every month – Hillary Gessel


My mom teaches me and my siblings at home. Every day. And she teaches everything. She is probably the smartest person I’ve ever met. And she’s also nice. And never calls you out if you don’t know something. She’s always encouraging. Anyway I think my mom never gets enough credit for what she does as a wife, mom, and teacher. She is so patient and I would never wish to be taught by anyone else. Love you mom – Janie Grant

She works so hard and hardly have any time to her self. She works crazy hard teaching, helping, instructing, reading and making sure we understand everything. She teaches three kids (including me) two teens and a pre-teen. All different grades can be difficult to teach. I love her so much! She should be nominated because of these reasons and shes great to get to know as well. Shes not JUST a teacher, shes also a friend. She is the best teacher ever! She really deserves this. Thank You- Katelin Grant


Mrs. Choate is an amazing teacher. She treats the students as they should be treated. She is my favorite teacher. She has tought me so many things in life and quotes from amazing writers. She makes all the students feel welcome right when they enter her class room! She should win because this year she is possibly retiring and for all these years working at PHS she has influenced so many kids and brought out the best in everyone! Winning this conest would be the least I could do for her after everything she has done for me – Kalijha Bicknell


Alana always has a smile on her face and loves her job at Head Start. Her class consists of children that are either Low Income, Disabled or have other special needs.

Part of her job is to visit families in their home and determine if they need help from the community. Many times I’ve heard the sadness in her voice when she comes across a family that is struggling. When this happens she makes sure she finds clothes and food for her “kids”.

In and out of school Alana has her children in mind and is always looking for new and inventive ways to help them learn.

Alana shared with me just the other day that she saw one of her former parents. She said that the Mom gave her the best complement EVER! After many hugs the Mom told her (In her broken English) that she took the child to the Dr. and he understood what the Dr. had said in English. The first time ever. ALana was beaming. She had made a difference and continues to make a difference each and every day!!!- Carol Henifin


Ms. Tate is a teacher who will stop at nothing to make sure that all of her students will succeed. She is more than just a Mathematics teacher. She is a role model to everyone. She is inspirational and thoughtful. While she may seem like a tough teacher that’s what makes her great. She will encourage the students to go farther than they think they can in their academics. Ms. Tate has a teaching style that works for almost everyone. In her classes she will combine as many learning styles as possible to accommodate for every student while making sure they are still moving along and learning. If she sees a student struggling she will either find them help among their peers or help them one on one so that they will not fall behind in class. Never before had I come across a teacher who will put forth such an effort for her students even when they no longer care. Ms. Tate is an exceptional teacher who works much to hard and much to long. She is under appreciated for what she does and its time she is recognized for her efforts. She would put in hours of her personal time to improve her lessons from day to day so that they are easier to understand and flow with each different topic. Like I said before, she will stop at nothing to help every single student succeed even in their most hopeless moments. Ms. Tate has been a teacher at Delta High School for three full years going on her fourth. In those three years she has been inspiring not just to students, but to other teachers as well. She has worked long and hard for her own peers and students and recognition is long over due for this wonderful teacher.


Such a fun and patient teacher! She incorporates lots of play and fun activities for my daughter and the other kids to learn -  Tiffany Rodabaugh


She is amazing with each one of her students. Mrs. Ulk makes these kids feel like they are her favorite and does not make them feel like they are in her class because they are stupid or because they are less than any other child in their class. My son loves her and can’t wait until each day comes to go to her class. She is an amazing woman and a wonderful teacher -  Schaffino Nicole


Bob puts his all into his teaching every day. He doesn’t just see his work as a job. He believes in these kids and takes the time to get to know each one as an individual so he can maximize his impact on each child’s learning – Tricia Fotheringham 


This lady gets to work over an hour early, stays one to two hours late and works on the weekends. She truly cares for her students and they always come back to her to thank her for believing in them. She’s very deserving – Tabitha Celski


As a second year teacher, Stephanie has shown so much passion for teaching and cares about her students. She, like many teachers, spends her own money to decorate her classroom to make it a fun and engaging learning environment for her students. Her family pitches in to help decorate and her classroom is amazing – it’s a jungle theme, complete with a teacher’s desk that looks like a safari jeep.

Stephanie is always willing to go the extra mile to help her students and ensure that they are successful. Her students love her and I know the feeling is mutual – Renee Brooks


Ms. McDermott is a wonderful, caring teacher who supports her students with high needs in all areas of learning. My daughter, who has Autism Spectrum Disorder and ADHD transferred from another school, with severe school related anxiety and was two grades behind her peers. Ms. McDermott immediately worked on teaching my daughter successfully to read and helped her to be in the general education class with her peers. She is truly a skilled and dedicated teacher, and an amazing person – Patricia Thrush


She works tirelessly for her kids! She is an amazing teacher with a special ability to connect with children and pull the best behavior from them – Lisa Edler


As a sub I am in and out of classrooms daily, So i get to see a bunch of different teaching styles, and different ways teachers handle situations, etc. Hawthorne Elementary is always my favorite to sub at. If the whole Building could win this award- they should! Since I have to choose one-It’s Sandy. She is by far the best Special Education teacher I’ve ever worked with. She loves those kids, and loves her job. She is just so wonderful. She knows exactly the needs of each child and follows through with those. Special Ed. is not an easy class, especially with young children, But Sandy handles it so well and each child strives in that class. She deserves everything – Ashley Nielsen


I am nominating Maribeth to thank her for all the tremendous support she has given me and other students over the years. She was my favorite history teacher when I was in middle school and I was blessed again to have her as a mentor when I returned and did my student teaching 15 years later! The care that Maribeth puts into her teaching shines through toher students on a daily basis. She knows exactly when a kind word is needed to brighten a day or when a child needs “a moment to themselves” to gather their emotions. Maribeth has worked tirelessly in the public school system for over 30 years. Her gentle touch resonates through the generations and will hopefully continue to do so for many more years to come. Thank you, Maribeth – Elisabeth Potter 


She really knows how to make kids comfortable starting middle school. She is fun but keeps a good learning environment in the classroom. I think she would love a little pampering – Tina Pierini


Karen is just one I the kindest ladies I’ve met. I worked in her class as an assistant. She cares about every single student like her own child. She also has the patience of a saint. Great lady who definitely deserves to win – Hollie Pawlack


Carrie works with low income students. She goes out of her way to make sure everyone learns. School is 97% free and reduce lunch. She is so caring even when the students are a challenge – Margarita Morfin


My daughter is a special needs child and she has been AMAZING and so supportive. Mrs. Hilton was my 4th grade teacher, when I went to school there 27 years ago. So many years of her time and devotion to educating our children…. Mrs. Hilton deserves this – Nicole Barber


Mrs. Beihn is an astounding teacher. Not only does she have a rigourous class, it is a fun, interactive one as well. Since being at several schools, Mrs. Biehn has definitely stood out to me as one of the best mentors I could’ve ever had. She is genuinely caring and an all-around awesome person – Gianna Nino


Mrs. Dann is the most lovely person I know. She does not teach a class; she makes it a family and she raises it, every single day. She not only helps you to achieve greatness in the classroom, but she genuinely cares about the student’s home life as well! She has helped me to become a much greater person, and she has helped to shape me into the person that I am today. She is standing by her husband’s side who is fighting the hardest battle of them all: cancer. She is the STRONGEST woman I’ve EVER met, and I could not be more proud of her! She has left a loving mark on me and my entire family, and also on every single student who has had the pleasure to be a part of her classes. Aside from her warm and beautiful heart, she puts together an amazing choir each year, for every grade. She is beyond smart behind the piano and within the vocal chords! She is part of the Mid-Columbia Ma stersingers and she is an incredible performer! She is not afraid to be silly and has outstanding confidence! She INSPIRES me to be a better person and to always follow my dreams. She gives me great hope for the future! Her inner and outer beauty shines like the sun, and there is no other person who deserves this Teacher of the Month award as much as her – Taylor Monson


She is one of the best teachers in the world, very motivated and uses allot of her time for others, and without her help I wouldn’t be in college.

She simply is a giver and it’s time to give back – Sam Nassar









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