Archive for Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Deerfield School’s Anne Tormohlen wins 2010-11 Lawrence Elementary Teacher of the Year award

Rick Doll, superintendent of the Lawrence school district, helps lead the way for honoring Anne Tormohlen, library media specialist at Deerfield School, as the district's 2010-11 Lawrence Elementary Teacher of the Year. The presentation came during an after-school staff meeting Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2011, in the library at Deerfield, 101 Lawrence Ave.

February 15, 2011


Deerfield School employees applaud Tuesday as Anne Tormohlen, center, the school’s library media specialist, is named as the winner of the 2010-11 Lawrence Elementary Teacher of the Year award.

Deerfield School employees applaud Tuesday as Anne Tormohlen, center, the school’s library media specialist, is named as the winner of the 2010-11 Lawrence Elementary Teacher of the Year award.

Anne Tormohlen embraces having “the best job in the building” at Deerfield School.

“I get to work with everybody,” the school’s library media specialist said. “I do. I know all 528 kids. I’ve known most of them since kindergarten, and it’s fun. That’s the best part.”

On Tuesday, Tormohlen learned she also is among the best educators in the Lawrence school district, as winner of the 2010-11 Lawrence Elementary Teacher of the Year award.

The honor arrived after school, when a crowd of administrators, friends, colleagues and others filed into a staff meeting to see her smile, deflect praise and collect a $1,000 check from program sponsor KU Credit Union. Soon, someone will take her photo, for display at district headquarters.

“I’m mortified by that,” she said, mortified by the idea that her mortification would be shared in the newspaper.

Tormohlen is in her 20th year at the school, 101 Lawrence Ave., where she’s been library specialist for the past nine years and has taught fifth and sixth grades during the previous 11. Before that, she’d taught for three years at the former Riverside School.

Deerfield teachers and staffers nominated Tormohlen for the honor, citing her use of “standards-based” lessons that allow for “perfect” transitions into future classroom work, providing an appropriate and welcome lightening of teachers’ collective classroom loads.

“She is not the only backbone of support for our children and their literary needs, but shows true compassion for each individual child,” her colleagues said, in their nomination letter. “We pride ourselves on reading achievement at Deerfield, and we would not be able to excel and reach our goals without Anne in our library.”

Rick Doll, district superintendent, lauded Tormohlen for her work with all teachers and all students.

“It’s obvious that we made the right call,” he said.

The district now will nominate Tormohlen for Kansas Teacher of the Year, a program of the Kansas State Department of Education.

The district also plans to honor a 2010-11 Lawrence Secondary Teacher of the Year later this year.


Gary Anderson 6 years ago

No disrespect intended...but shouldn't a teacher have won the award? According to the article she hasn't been a classroom teacher in almost a decade...I'm sure she is a wonderful library specialist...but to receive the Elementary Teacher of the Year award seems odd. Again, no disrespect to Anne Tormohlen is intended or implied.

kugrad 6 years ago

I understand your confusion; a lot of it might stem from the term "classroom teacher." All the people who teach kids - librarians, art, music, P.E., SPED, music therapists, OT and PT, Speech, etc. are teachers. Many have a classroom of some sort. The term should probably be 'grade level teachers' or something like that, when referring to teachers assigned to a particular grade level. Think of it as more of an "educator" of the year award and it makes good sense. Think of all the many grade levels she prepares for and how she supports the grade level curriculum through preparing for her lessons. If you can get a bunch of teachers to agree that you are a great teacher, you are a great teacher! Congratulations Anne.

greywolf85203 6 years ago

Library specialist are teachers. They teach research ciriculum. She is a wonderful teacher I had her for 6th grade! I'm excited she won!

6 years ago

She IS a teacher, she teaches more than some of the teachers...

Gary Anderson 6 years ago

Well that's my she a teacher or isn't she? You say she is...then immediately qualify your position with the point she teaches more than some of the "teachers". Again, don't get me wrong...I taught for years at USD458's LHS...without a certification. It just seems odd to me that the award would not go to a certified classroom teacher. Were paras, custodians, lunch ladies all considered?

fanaddict 6 years ago

Library Media Specialists are certified.

Gary Anderson 6 years ago

yes....certified as Library Media Specialists...not certified in K-6 elementary education. She would have held that certification 10 years's really no big deal...I was just playing the devil's advocate. As long as the classroom teachers do not feel slighted...all is good.

lawrence76 6 years ago

All library media specialists in Lawrence are certified teachers as well as certified library media specialists.

fanaddict 6 years ago

YES, certified K-6. Why would you play devil's advocate to something you obviously know nothing about? (Oh, and believe me, none of us feel ''slighted''…seriously!?)

Did I mention YAY Anne!!!!! You are the best!

Gary Anderson 6 years ago

now why did you have to make the personal attack? I have a MS in Education and have taught for years ...I think I get to have an opinion...I'm not comfortable with a non classroom teacher receiving the Teacher of the Year award...period. Perhaps the award should be the educator of the year? I think the teacher of the year should be a classroom opinion...if you feel differently...great!

6 years ago

Classroom teachers NOMINATED her. She is an inspiration to them. She is a leader in the building. Praise has gone now to a highly deserving individual who cares about student needs. nuff said.

kugrad 6 years ago

No skyking62, Librarians are not certified "only" as library media specialists, they are certified like all other teachers. She is probably kg-9 certified. Get the burr out from under your saddle. A deserving teacher won an award. It is time to recognize her and not time to attempt to diminish her accomplishment.

Gary Anderson 6 years ago

see above...please. Do you know how many times I have heard that a special ed teacher is not a real teacher? Do you know that I have no personal knowledge of a special ed teacher ever being considered for such an award, in my 15 years in education? So forgive me when I hear all the special ed teachers were passed by...when all the classroom teachers were passed by. But I suppose you never had to drive a teacher to the hospital to get a pair of scissors removed from her leg...or to get shards of glass out of her eye after being head butted...or getting knocked unconscious by a thrown desk...well, I have. Of course we wouldn't want those stories splashed across the paper would we? You pick your hero...I'll pick mine.

lawrence76 6 years ago

The award is given based on nominations provided by a teacher's colleagues. If you would like to see a special education teacher recognized nominate one.

fanaddict 6 years ago

skyking62...did you see who was named secondary teacher of the year?? A learning strategies teacher with a special ed background. Wish granted!!

6 years ago

Geesh, what was the student's behavior plan??? I sure hope there was one and that the teacher was following it!

fanaddict 6 years ago

Way to go Anne!!! You are amazing!!

harp 6 years ago

I agree! Anne is an absolutely amazing teacher, and she definitely earned and deserves this award!

livinginlawrence 6 years ago

skyking62 said: "I'm not comfortable with a non classroom teacher receiving the Teacher of the Year award...period. "

I know you probably intended for this statement to be definitive in some way, but I'd be interested if you'd be willing to elaborate on the feelings you've put forth here. How exactly does the idea make you uncomfortable? Just curious.

In the interest of full disclosure, I'll admit that to me it seems as though you may be getting a bit hung up on wording. Be it as it may that the peculiarities of her job title and how it relates to the name of the award for you dredge up bitter memories, the evidence suggests that Tormohlen has earned a lot of respect and admiration in this community as a teacher (or educator, or pedagogue, or instructor- whatever makes you "comfortable").

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