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Archive for Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Hillcrest teacher named Lawrence’s Elementary Teacher of the Year

Hillcrest School second-grade teacher Leellyn Tuel wears an expression of disbelief as she is announced as the Lawrence Elementary Teacher of the Year before her colleagues in the school library. Tuel, who has taught in the district for 25 years, received a check for $1,000 from KU Credit Union.

Hillcrest School second-grade teacher Leellyn Tuel wears an expression of disbelief as she is announced as the Lawrence Elementary Teacher of the Year before her colleagues in the school library. Tuel, who has taught in the district for 25 years, received a check for $1,000 from KU Credit Union.

March 2, 2010

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Hillcrest teacher takes Elementary Teacher of the Year award

Longtime Hillcrest School teacher and 25-year veteran Leellyn Tuel earned the city's Elementary Teacher of the Year awards. Enlarge video

Longtime Hillcrest School teacher Leellyn Tuel sat in the school’s library Tuesday, listening to Superintendent Rick Doll rattle off positive attributes about a teacher.

Until Doll and Geoff Strole, of KU Credit Union, mentioned Tuel’s alma mater, Northwest Missouri State University, she thought her fellow second-grade teacher Denise Johnson was about to be named the district’s 2010 Elementary Teacher of the Year.

“I can’t believe it,” Tuel said, after looking at a $1,000 check from the credit union.

Tuel has taught 25 years in the district, all at Hillcrest except for her first five years at Sunset Hill School.

As her fellow teachers cheered, Tuel received a hug from a former student, sixth-grader Joaquin Dorado-Mariscal. He contributed to Tuel’s nomination along with his parents, Susana Mariscal and Daniel Dorado.

“Mrs. Tuel has been a great teacher to me,” Joaquin wrote four years ago when he was in her second-grade class. “She should get the award you are giving because at first to me it felt great, and it felt like Mrs. Tuel invited me to a new world, like if you found Atlantis.”

Tuel said she was touched because Joaquin initially had struggles in school, but the teacher and student made a pact to work hard together.

She says she is enjoying her time at Hillcrest immensely and wants to finish her career there.

“What makes it special is that you work your hardest trying to do your best to love kids and do the best for them,” Tuel said. “I am always aware of how much I still need to learn. I always feel like a first-year teacher because there’s so much to learn. You’re so aware in a school like this of the good everybody else is doing.”

The district will nominate Tuel for the state elementary teacher of the year award. On Monday, Doll presented Lawrence High vocal teacher Cathy Crispino with the district’s 2010 Secondary Teacher of the Year award.

Comments

fearsadness14 4 years, 4 months ago

Thank you Mrs. Tool! I remember being in your classes 10 years ago.... What a wonderful method for writing! In part, I have you to thank for where I am today!

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Hop2It 4 years, 4 months ago

Great Picture! I actually do believe that she was surprised. Congratulations.

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yankeevet 4 years, 4 months ago

She deserves more money........................congrats too you teacher.......

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rodentgirl16 4 years, 4 months ago

I love that picture! I also love the fact that the other teachers look so happy for her. Congrats!

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yoornotmee 4 years, 4 months ago

I love that photo! The photographer captured the exact right moment! She looks so surprised and everyone looks so happy for her.

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Ricky_Vaughn 4 years, 4 months ago

Yea, that picture is priceless.

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flux 4 years, 4 months ago

When I was at Hillcrest 30 years ago we were called the Hillcrest hillbillys. Our logo was a picture of a hillbilly sleeping under a tree....no joke! Can you imagine that one today?

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Stuart Evans 4 years, 4 months ago

I agree, this picture is priceless, and seeing that her co-workers appear to be pleased is nice too. I really expected to see one grimacing scowl from across the room.

congrats to you Mrs. Tuel.

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kujayhawk 4 years, 4 months ago

Hey Flux, I was at Hillcrest 30 years ago, too. Played for the Hillbillies football team. :) Great name.

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Krzysiek 2 years, 8 months ago

:) i was at hillcrest from 1998 to 2001 :) best years of my life!! Thank to the staff , especially Mrs . Tuel

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