Three Edmonds teachers were recently recognized by VFW Post No. 8870 for their ongoing efforts to promote American history, traditions and its institutions, teach and reinforce citizenship education topics, and promote democratic values and beliefs.
The teacher recognition program is sponsored by the National VFW through its Citizenship Education Teacher Awards Program. At the Dec. 9 meeting of Post 8870, the educators were recognized for the positive contributions they make to improve the quality of their students’ education. Each honoree was presented with a certificate of appreciation and a small stipend for classroom expenses by Post Commander Jim Traner.
Robert Allen, a primary grade teacher at the Madrona K-8 School, was named Elementary Teacher of the Year. He is described by his Principal as being a model of courtesy, thoughtfulness, humility and respect for his students and colleagues. Allen is a dedicated professional who strives to make a difference in the lives of those with whom he works and serves. For many years, he has helped organize school assemblies and special programs designed to honor and respect our nation’s veterans. Allen is a graduate of the University of Washington and earned a master’s degree from Antioch University. He has been teaching since 1997, and lives in Seattle.
The Post’s Middle School Teacher of the Year is Jami Samione, who teaches 8th grade social studies at the Maplewood K-8 Parent Cooperative in Edmonds. Samione was recognized for her expertise and passion for building on the ideals of democracy through improved citizenship. Through the use of interactive online program called “Civic Mirror,” her students create their own country for the purpose of instilling in them a love, commitment and respect for civic involvement. Samione has received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Western Washington University, and she began her teaching career in 1995. She and her family reside in Edmonds.
Bridget Mahoney-Fernandes was recognized as the Post’s High School Teacher of the Year. Her teaching career began in California in 1988, and she has been a social studies teacher at Edmonds-Woodway High School since 1997. She has a passion for American history, and her curriculum emphasizes an understanding and appreciation of our nation’s founding documents and institutions. Students are placed in a variety of simulations, which promote responsible decision-making skills. Mahoney-Fernandes models the meaning of being an active citizen, one who serves her school-community. Students recognize and praise her for her ability to “connect” with them, which inspires and motivates them to become active learners. She and her family live in Edmonds.
The names of each of the Teachers of the Year, along with supporting material, have been forwarded to VFW District 1 (Puget Sound area) for further consideration for recognition at the district level and Washington state levels.
— Submitted by By Fred M. Apgar