OuRCity News

Teachers At Their Finest

The best of the best for 2016-2017’s school year


Teaching is one of the best and hardest careers in the world. Thousands of kids attend school everyday and teachers work so hard to make sure they have a great education and are very literate. Teachers are trusted adults to take care of kids while parents go to work, so they have to do more for students than just educate them.


The teachers who will be receiving the award are Stephanie Kugler and Heather Best along with a few other staff members. The teachers receive their awards for their hard work at their schools and how well they teach their students in class. These teachers are two of the best in the district and they do more for students, as they feel the need to improve the education of students.


Teachers of the Year are selected District wide and selected by the main directors of the district. There is an award show honoring the teachers that is held on May 16th, 2017 at River City High School. The teachers will also be recognized on May 19th, 2017 at Raley Field.


Stephanie Kugler received the Secondary teacher of the year. She is a middle school history teacher as well as the National Juniors Honor Society. When she received the award she was so excited and honored to get such an amazing award honoring her work.


Kugler says that “It feels really special.  I learned after the fact that many of my fellow teachers nominated me – it feels like an incredible honor to be nominated by my colleagues and obviously, wonderful to get recognized by the district.”


This award meant a lot to her as this shows how much she has worked and how she is being appreciated for her hard work and time. Kugler is very honored to receive such an award.


Stephanie Kugler is the Secondary Teacher of the Year. Kugler has taught at Bridgeway Island Elementary School for 5 years and is a dedicated, caring, and highly effective teacher. She spends many hours just on preparing classwork and it helps the students develop critical thinking skills.  

Kugler has always had one goal for the students she has been working with. She says, “It may sound cheesy, but the one goal I always have is to constantly be the best teacher that I can be for my students – to make sure I am constantly changing to fit their needs and to be a teacher they know they can rely on.”


Kugler has also said that with her teaching career she wants to impact her students in all of their lives. She wants to be more than just a friend as she wants to do a lot more for them.


Kugler describes her relationship with students as, “The students are what is so important to me.  I love the diversity in West Sacramento and having the opportunity to teach in such a diverse district is a gift.  I want to be the best teacher that I can be at every moment because the kids here deserve it.”


Kugler has also been awarded Innovative Educator Grant in her first year of teaching. This is a grant and large sum of money, used for school projects, school activities or clubs, and just for overall education purposes. This grant could range between $450-$4000 depending on the location and district.


Kugler also teaches NJHS, or National Junior Honors Society, and has done extensive work to better the group  as it has grown from around 9 students to 60 students.


Kugler has no limits as an educator and has so much potential for her future classes. She is a wonderful teacher and friend for all.


To read more on Kugler herself click the following link which will take you to a profile all on her 🙂 : https://raidervoice.com/club/2017/03/06/a-hero-in-disguise/


Heather Best is a teacher at Stonegate Elementary where she has been for years. Best has been with the Washington Unified School District for 18 years and has built great relationship with many students and staff.


Best has worked hard and has dedicated a lot of her time to her students, but it all pays off with the remarkable students that leave her class. Best loves her students individually and wants to help them in anyway she can before they are off to middle school.


She does her best to teach her students and make them ready to learn as she says that, “Seeing how excited they get when they learn something new or finally get a concept after many attempts.”

Best has worked hard to make a nice, supportive, and friendly environment for her students. Students who were previously struggling in other classes are now working at higher levels along with their other peers.


Best tries her best to create a great environment for her students to feel comfortable enough to learn and create a better school life for them. Best says, “I emphasize the importance of trying new things and making mistakes is alright because that is part of learning. I tell my students that we are a team and we will work together to accomplish any goals.”


Students feel more comfortable in an environment where they can feel like they can learn. A safe environment makes everyone feel comfortable and excited to learn in a class.


Best teaches 5th grade because she describes them as, “5th grade is my favorite because students are just beginning to understand the importance of an education and becoming responsible.  They grow so much more independent as the year progresses and as they get ready to enter middle school.”


5th grade is her favorite grade to teach as it is the transition grade from being a elementary student to be a middle school. Middle school requires a lot of responsibility and Best loves being a teacher to do this for her students.


Best has a “passion for helping people and working with children” and this love for schooling has been fueled since she was seven years old.


      The importance of building one’s potential and confidence is with the aid of the teacher, and in order for those students to reach that mindset they need the guidance of a teacher, and Best is one of those teachers who will help them along their journey.

   Being an inspiration and having “the ability to change lives” is exciting and still is, it’s been 18 years since she’s been teaching.


“I had a student several years ago that came into my class with many referrals and suspensions from the previous years.  I was hoping that I could make a difference in this student’s life and help to keep him from being expelled.  Unfortunately he was expelled the next year.”


 And from this student Best had made it another one of her personal goals to help guide students in the right direction and see them grow both academically and socially.


The teachers who were selected for this award deserve it entirely as they have been working hard for many years and are great teachers. They not only teach the kids, but they give them a way to have fun while learning and a trusted adult to go to with any problem.


These teachers will do the best that they can to help the students with any problem as they are easy to go to and will do their best to help them with anything.


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