Whittell graduate named teacher of the year
Trich Michitarian was named 2007 Douglas County Teacher of the Year at the Education Foundation’s Teacher Recognition Luncheon on Wednesday.
The Meneley Elementary School teacher was one of the 12 top teachers selected by their peers in each of the district’s schools. The awards luncheon was held at Walley’s Hot Springs Resort and Spa.
“I’m a product of the Douglas County School system – K through 12,” said Michitarian, 42, who has been teaching at Meneley for 10 years.
She and husband Ron Michitarian both graduated from Whittell High School in 1983. Ron Michitarian works at the Alpine County Sheriff’s Office and the couple have two children, Megan, a Douglas sophomore, and Conner, a seventh-grader at Pau-Wa-Lu Middle School.
“I live in the Ranchos, just one minute from school,” said Trich Michitarian. “I like living with the kids I teach. Being involved in school is being part of the community and it makes what I do more meaningful. You make your community as good as you want it to be.”
During the awards ceremony, each principal presented their top teacher with a golden apple classroom bell award and said why they were nominated.
Meneley Principal Brian Frazier said Michitarian organizes school activities such as Bingo Night to benefit the school and the community.
“She believes in family and teaching,” Frazier said. “She tries to be a whole person from a teaching aspect. She’s always concerned with how she can get better and how what she does affects students.”
Fellow Meneley fifth-grade teacher Brian Mello said Michitarian welcomed his ideas even when he was a first-year teacher.
“She cares a lot about the kids but what makes her a wonderful teacher is that she looks for different ideas to change her teaching style – not just to help the general student population, but to accommodate each kid,” said Mello.
Michitarian’s students said she makes learning fun, that she’s awesome, smart, talented and comes up with the best ideas for class.
Wyatt Eichhorst, 11, shared the most important lesson he learned in fifth-grade.
“I didn’t know that meal worms turn into beetles,” Wyatt said about the life-cycle project in the corner of room 19.
School Superintendent Carol Lark told the group at the teacher awards about a favorite teacher who was very strict, but took the time to take her students aside to tell them they were special.
“That made an impact in my life,” said Lark. “And that’s what this is all about.”
Michitarian acknowledged Maxine Atherton, an educator for more than 40 years recognized as Whittell High School’s teacher of the year, as the person who influenced her to become a teacher. Michitarian said Pau-Wa-Lu Middle School Principal Robbin Pedrett was her basketball coach.
“Robbin taught me about competition and the spirit behind it,” Michitarian said. “I’ve been influenced by people in the community. My teachers and my kids’ teachers – you people are why I keep them here and why I want to teach here.”
Douglas County Teachers of the Year:
Liz Leiknes, Carson Valley Middle School
Adam Lazear, Douglas High School
Cheryl Naumann, Gardnerville Elementary School
Wendy Vane, Jacks Valley Elementary School
Nancy Roberts, Kingsbury Middle School
Melinda Reynolds, Minden Elementary School
Ashlee Anker, Pau-Wa-Lu Middle School
Cassie Huff, Piñon Hills Elementary School
Cyndi Monroe, Scarselli Elementary School
Maxine Atherton, Whittell High School
Dianne Drumm, Zephyr Cove Elementary School
The education foundation was created in 1984 to provide support to the school district by raising money to award grants for projects to provide the best educational value for students.
Besides fundraising events, the foundation depends on donations from individuals, families and businesses. And in addition to donations, the foundation is in need of people power to help provide students and teachers with funds to enhance the learning experience.
For information on becoming a volunteer with the Douglas County Education Foundation, contact Kari Karwoski at 265-0389.