Tiffany Tran-Parta was nominated by her colleague, Susan Duncan.
Ms. Tran-Parta brings a great love for people and nature into her classroom, which comes alive with the curiosity of young people under the kind gaze of saltwater fish. With her skin-diving experience and love for the ocean, she brings a world many of us never see into students' hearts and minds. The proof of her impact is the engagement of 100% of those she is teaching each day. Each student's good ideas and efforts are valued because she sets each of them up for success. She knows what it takes to learn a second language and attend school in an unfamiliar country, so learning language and learning science fit together perfectly. Besides, her ideas for collecting data by building solar ovens, solar cars, water pumps, trebuchets, and programming human-like hands means there are always solutions to be found. She cares deeply on a daily basis, not just once and a while with a special project, but every moment of every day at school with her students.
"Her smile lights up a room, and her determination can move mountains," said Duncan. "She has created an ongoing fundraising project that involves families, teachers, administrators and the community collecting cans and bottles. It is the involvement of everyone working together that brightens our day, and the funding has tripled our budget for science supplies. She brings in speakers via computer to inspire students in their research at Outdoor School, too."
Field trips are just one of her specialties. Her organizational and communication skills at the school, district, and state level show her ability to think systematically and include many voices in finding solutions. When she is present in her room and at meetings, the atmosphere is professional and hopeful, and everyone feels appreciated and part of the team.
Ms. Tran-Parta has walked the halls of Meadow Park with the kind of professionalism and kindness all schools need to experience on a daily basis. Do you need support with a lesson? She has a week's worth at her fingertips. Want to try a new technology? She can help you build a vending machine with a programmable chip in an afternoon. Are you recovering from an illness? She has a pan of enchiladas and pot of soup ready in an instant. Need some ideas for guiding students into Science Math Engineering or Technology (STEM) fields with high-level thinking and writing skills? She's got them planned!
Her high moral and ethical standards are found in her detailed and timely routines and recordkeeping, so she can speak with families with both an individual's potential and heart in mind.
"Ms. Tran-Parta has changed the lives of thousands of individuals young, old and in-between at Meadow Park. She shined like gold when she arrived and is as bright as platinum, today," said Duncan. "Her science lessons and her spirit for learning never tarnish. With her insights, each student's future is bright, and everyone whose life she touches glows brighter, too."