Position: Kindergarten Teacher
School: Belle Creek Charter School
School District: Belle Creek Charter School
City, State: Henderson, CO
Lisa Thyre was nominated by her colleague, Alice Arceneaux.
“Lisa is a great example of what we all hope to be as teachers. She is patient and kind with her students, and she sets very high expectations for herself and her learners. I have always been impressed with the creativity and care that she pours into the classroom, effectiveness at teaching the content, ability to create positive relationships with students, parents, and community, and her hard work to support a positive school climate,” - Paul Hurst, assistant principal at Belle Creek Charter School
Currently, Mrs. Thyre enriches the lives of 27 Kindergarten students. Over half of her students are ethnic minorities, two are identified GT students, five are EL students, one student is on a 504 Plan, one student has autism, and there are two severe IEP students in her classroom. Her ability to reach all students is impeccable. Mrs. Thyre is able to maintain such achievement due to her excellent communication skills, which are evident when examining her success in creating strong-parent teacher relations and in connecting to the whole child, both socially and emotionally.
"Her greatest strength is her ability to connect with her students by designing creative and engaging lessons. She challenges student’s abilities in order to encourage as much growth and development as possible," said Jacolyn Fields, Belle Creek's executive director.
As a specific example, for the last ten years, Mrs. Thyre's Dibels Data has shown that each student, regardless of their economic background or ethnicity, has made an incredible amount of growth. Most students make a year to three years’ worth of progress in her classroom.
“Getting Mrs. T is like hitting the teacher jackpot! She stands out because she goes above and beyond in everything she does, including tie dying every student's shirt for the Dash for Cash run and playing music to dance to," said Jenni Pyles-Gaitan, the parent of a GT student. "Everything she does is fun, like how she wrote the 'American Musical' to help teach standards and concepts about the American Revolution, Old Colonial Towns, and the Pilgrims. She teaches personal responsibility and respecting peers with essential agreement plans, like earning and paying tickets from students' own bank accounts to help them take ownership of their actions. She is always open and available for any communications. Mrs. T learns what each student responds to in order to meet their individual needs and help them through their day. My son is a big helper, and she picked up on that early in the year. If he has a rough moment, she asks him to hold the door or do something else to help and he feels better. As a parent, it's very comforting to see that he is in such great hands. My son is GT, and she is helping him work on his leadership skills by doing presentations to the class, which he loves.
To enhance the school community, Mrs. Thyre has gone above and beyond to ensure that the community and all stakeholders are involved in school events. Each year, she hosts an Author’s Tea Party to celebrate her student writers and their school-created books. This event empowers her students as published authors. She has held parent workshops to help bridge the parent, student, and school community in an event called Parent University. Mrs. Thyre brings in the community through Core Knowledge Literacy nights, where school and community come together to create student-directed poetry cafes or a historical wax museum. One time, she brought in Kohl’s employees to help with a Literacy Night Carnival, and Kohl’s donated $500. The community also came together for the fair, and the proceeds went toward supporting the Children’s Advocacy Program.
In addition, Mrs. Thyre is a lifelong learner who believes in supporting her peers by teaching book studies to help support the mindful child. She teaches her fellow peers about the importance of the social and emotional needs of children.
“Mrs. T has helped my daughter gain confidence by encouraging her to step out of her comfort zone. She has created a safe, loving environment for my daughter to express herself, while also allowing her to feel safe in a completely controlled environment," said Jenna Smiley, the parent of an IEP student. "She has taught her to have the upmost amount of respect for others, themselves and all things around them. I feel like one of the most amazing things that stands out about her teaching style is that she teaches through experiences as opposed to lectures. She has put on many events throughout the year allowing and encouraging parent and family participation. We truly feel like Mrs. T is the best teacher we have encountered in our 17 years of being parents. We are forever grateful!”