Joneen Richards, 2010 Shoreline Teacher of the Year

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Photo: Joneen Richards, center, with Einstein Principal Stephanie Clark and Superintendent Sue Walker.  Courtesy Shoreline Schools

By Craig Degginger, PIO, Shoreline Schools
Joneen Richards, Spanish teacher at Einstein Middle School, has been selected as the 2010 Shoreline School District Teacher of the Year.

“She is compassionate, caring and the consummate professional,” a colleague wrote in nominating Richards for the award. “Joneen’s positive attitude is an inspiration to both her colleagues and her students.”

Richards has taught Spanish I and II at Einstein since 1992. Whenever one enters her classroom, it is immediately evident that students are not only learning, but they having fun doing so.

One day the class is turned into a Spanish marketplace, with the students dressed as tourists and bartering for goods in Spanish; the next day they are learning to cook authentic Spanish cuisine utilizing proper vocabulary and ingredients. In another activity, they follow Richards’ instructions to get from Einstein to the Shoreline Center while “driving” their cars on a virtual map on their laptops.

“The students are engaged in the variety of activities that get them speaking, reading and writing Spanish,” her nomination read in part. “Joneen succeeds in giving her students experiences that are as diverse as their learning styles. But Señora Richards does not teach only language; she teaches culture.”

Richards brings to her students her personal travel experiences, which enrich Einstein students’ lives and deepen their appreciation for the diversity of Spanish speaking cultures.

She is a Minnesota native and a graduate of Hamline University in St. Paul, Minnesota. Her husband, Rev. Jack Richards, is pastor of Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Everett. They are the parents of two sons.

Richards will be honored at a reception on Monday, May 3 at 6:30 pm in the Shoreline Center lobby, prior to the School Board meeting that evening. The community is invited. Shoreline will celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week May 2 to 8.

The Shoreline Teacher of the Year is selected by a committee of teachers, administrators and parents from nominations received from throughout the District. She will receive a $500 grant from the Shoreline Public Schools Foundation. Richards’ nomination will be forwarded for Washington State Teacher of the Year consideration.


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