The Lawrence Schools Foundation has honored two Lawrence teachers with $1,000 checks as 2010 Foundation Educators of the Year.
The winners announced during the intermission of the 20th Anniversary Foundation Follies on Friday at Liberty Hall were elementary educator John Bode, a New York School third-grade teacher, and Free State High School special education teacher Robert Rhodes.
New York Principal Nancy DeGarmo said Bode’s effort to monitor students’ progress has yielded amazing results, contributing to 100 percent of the school’s third-grade students meeting state guidelines on assessment tests for the last two years.
“One reason my family and me like Mr. Bode so much is because he has a unique way of throwing fun into the work,” wrote Annie Olson, a New York student.
Bode has taught for 20 years, including five years as a speech pathologist in Denver and Kansas City, Kan., before working in Lawrence public schools as a speech pathologist for eight years. He has taught third grade at New York for seven years.
Rhodes, the winner for the foundation’s secondary school educator award, works with functional skills students who face different and specialized learning challenges.
Lisa Boyd, a Free State assistant principal, said Rhodes is one of the school’s “unsung heroes.”
“Mr. Rhodes is an amazing teacher. Seeing the way he teaches has led and inspired me to enter the special education field,” said Stephen Jordan, a Free State senior.
Rhodes has spent 21 years of his 31-year career as a Lawrence special education teacher — including two years at Hillcrest, six years at Lawrence High, one year serving at both high schools and the past 12 years at Free State.