September 7, 2022

Highlighting our Teachers for Teacher Appreciation Week

Here at Renton Prep, we would like to take a moment to celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week. Educators from all around the globe work tirelessly to ensure the very best for their students. Especially the teachers within our own halls. It is our teachers that make Renton Prep one of the premier schools in the Pacific Northwest.

Our teachers not only ensure success among the students but also themselves. By doing so, they ensure the success of our community by committing every ounce of their energy to their profession.

What it Means to be a Renton Prep Teacher

Our Renton Prep teachers are passionate about our students and their education. It’s what motivates them to work together as a cohesive unit. This is what makes them a team of strong, well-equipped educators

All of our educators come from a diverse range of backgrounds, from social work to NASA subcontractors. This offers both our students and our teachers countless benefits.

“Each teacher has an area of expertise, so we can bring these skills together to create a more dynamic education for the students,” says elementary teacher, Ryan Gonzalez.

First-grade teacher Lizzy Stima agrees by saying, “When I work with another teacher, they are able to bring their background and experiences to the classroom. Their differences in backgrounds and perspectives help create a well-rounded educational environment for the students.”

She continues with, “I am able to bounce ideas off my colleagues and also have them share project ideas I never would have imagined.”

A Team of Passionate and Bold Teachers

The lesson plans that our educators generate together are how Renton Prep provides a well-balanced curriculum that can be applied in multiple subjects, but more importantly, in the lives of our students. 

Norma McClean, our middle school teacher, provides a great example of how this is applied within the curriculum. “By exploring the new STEAM topics presented every 2 weeks at a deeper level than the 4 total in-class hours with the STEAM teacher, the homeroom teachers enhance the STEAM subject matter. This gives students the opportunity to have a more robust experience in the exploration of the curriculum.” 

As Ryan Gonzalez puts it, “Working as a team allows teachers to better fulfill their mission of providing a holistic education. Topics like poetry are not strictly “ELA” topics, but in fact, have applications in math and science as well. We are on the same page and students are able to make more connections in their learning.”

Although the past few years have taken their toll on educators everywhere, our teachers met these challenges boldly head-on. Thus, fostering the academic growth of our students despite such difficult situations.

Connecting Students with their Community

By sending out thank you cards to firefighters, testing local water quality for salmon, and offering visual prayers, our teachers and their students have made an impact on the greater Renton Community. Our students need to know learning is much more than being in a classroom. This results in admiration for our community and all who are in it.

“By sending Thank You cards to the production staff of the Seattle Rep Performing Arts, specifically recognizing the crew of the production of Fannie Mae during Black History Month, reflected how much of an impression the actors and stage crew had on our students,” Norma McClean shares. 

An immersive educational experience that allows students to connect with their community provides not only a well-balanced education but also a fun and inspirational experience for students. They not only get to feel like a part of the community in which they live but they also get to witness how their actions can affect the community around them. 

“I like to constantly point my students outward,” said Lizzy Stima, “Life is bigger than ourselves and our own worlds we construct.”

More Than Just Teaching

There have been plenty of memorable moments throughout this school year, from our field trips to theme days. However, the biggest memories were the way our teachers were able to impact our students beyond the classroom. 

“Engaging students on creative math tasks drives me,” said math teacher, David Zelenka “I love watching students solve problems in non-traditional ways.”

Our teachers’ passion for our students not only drives our teaching methods and unique curriculum but is what many agree sets us apart from other schools.

“We provide a care and conviction that most public schools can’t match. Exploration and connection are emphasized far more than public schools, which focus more on preparing children for exams,” middle school teacher Ryan Gonzalez shares. 

“I think we stand out because of our care for each individual student’s learning path; we care more about them succeeding at their level than just meeting state standards,” said first-grade teacher Lizzy Stima. “We create an environment to challenge them and have them achieve all they can.” 

Most educators would agree that the best educational environment is one that challenges and supports students. And here at Renton Prep, we’re proud and confident to say that that’s exactly what we provide for our students– an environment centered on the success of our students.

Teacher Appreciation at Renton Prep

Though the first week of May is for appreciating teachers, here at Renton Prep we support and guide our teachers throughout the year. We also know that best-practice learning and instruction occur in a collaborative environment.

Interested in joining our teaching family here at Renton Prep?

Check out our Careers Page and apply today!