Congratulations to Alexis Barney, 2021 Wyoming Teacher of the Year!

 

Congratulations to Alexis Barney, 4th and 5th-grade teacher at Evansville Elementary for being selected as the Wyoming Teacher of the Year on September 22nd by the Wyoming Department of Education! Earlier this summer, Alexis was selected as NCSD’s District Teacher of the Year for 2021!

During the September 28, 2020, Board of Trustees meeting, Alexis was celebrated for this tremendous honor. Former Evansville Elementary Principal, Wayne Tuttle shared his sincere appreciation for Alexis’s work as an educator and positive influence across the District and in the community, “Alexis is without a doubt one of the finest educators I have worked with in my nearly three decades in education. Students thrive in Alexis’ class because of her high expectations, innovative engagement strategies, and relevant learning. When a principal looks for an educator to be an anchor of their school for decades to come, they are searching for someone of Alexis’ quality.”

Alexis’s passion for education and teaching motivates her in creating exceptional education opportunities within her classroom and school, “My heart truly belongs to teaching my students. Using their interests, I work to make learning meaningful and engaging while pushing their thinking, and mine, to the next level,” shared Alexis. “My philosophy is grounded in empowering students to be kind and courageous, and creating life-long learners who are inquisitive and excited about the world around them, finding success no matter their circumstances.”  

Committed to effective and efficient teaching strategies, Alexis has worked as a leader on Evansville Elementary school’s Transformation Team. On transformation days, the school is literally transformed and decorated according to a learning theme such as science day, game day, space day, and more. On these days, students rotate through different activities with their houses rather than their class. Houses are comprised of teachers and students in all grades K-5. In these rotations, teachers create lessons that support teamwork and cooperation, problem-solving, STEAM, and literacy growth for all students. There has been a direct impact on the behavior and kindness shown school-wide because of these efforts. “Students are building a community with one another and take leadership actions to keep their community safe and positive,” shared Alexis. For several transformation days, Alexis has invited local community members including geologists, scientists from the planetarium, the local library, and more to lead some of the stations.

Alexis’ creative lessons keep her students highly engaged, “If you were to walk into my classroom, you would see students influenced and excited by their learning. I love to use relevant and engaging hooks, chants, and cheers throughout my lessons. This builds a positive community within my classroom and provides them with devices to remember the concepts and enjoy learning. At any point in time, students may be playing games with the content. They could be answering math questions in order to win against another team in tic-tac-toe or rushing across the room to match answers to their appropriate questions using only Vaseline on their nose.” 

“When I heard my name announced I was so excited!” shared Alexis, “There were butterflies in my stomach and my heart was about to burst out of my chest! It was incredibly emotional. I am so thrilled and proud to represent some of the hardest working, most dedicated people in the country, teachers. Being selected to represent teachers in the great state of Wyoming is just icing on the cake!”

Alexis is excited and ready to represent her fellow educators in Wyoming, “As I step into this new role, I am so excited for the work of connecting educators to the larger community. Now more than ever, we need to come together in order to help children succeed, not just as students in academia, but as resilient, problem-solving, worldly thinkers. This will involve teachers, parents, policy-makers, and our communities on a local and national scale working together. There are so many obstacles and perceived limitations in education right now. I believe that by coming together we can turn any “can’t” into a “can” with a bit of creativity and courage.”

For further information and to read the press release from the Wyoming Department of Education click here!

 
 

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