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  • A. Elkins

Honoring Teachers in our Community

Updated: Mar 4, 2019


“The influence of a good teacher can never be erased,” was the welcome that honored teachers, their guests, and other supporters from the community saw as they attended the annual “Teachers of Excellence” Evening held by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints held on February 28. Five teachers from the community were celebrated, joining with family, friends, colleagues, and others from the community to support them on this special evening. Also in attendance were the Superintendent of Redlands Unified School District, Mauricio Arellano and Michael Strong, president of the Redlands Stake of the church.


Elaine Mesa of Highland Grove Elementary School in Highland has taught in the Redlands Unified School District for 14 years, teaching kindergarten through third grades. It is said that her most successful teaching approach in her classroom is making her students feel valued so that they will desire to learn, and she has had former students that come back or write a letter to let her know she has indeed made a difference.


“Everyone can succeed” has been the philosophy of Nancy Ganther of Cope Middle School. She has taught for over 35 years, with 23 of those years in Redlands. She has also coached Cope’s Running Club for 18 plus years. She stresses the need to “be real” and to interact with kids on their level. Nancy is highly respected by her colleagues and values her family.


Susan Abt says students “need to feel successful every day” and believes in making a connection and reinforcing positive behavior in order to achieve this. Sue has taught for the past 10 years at Smiley Elementary, but has also taught at Crafton Elementary, and has been teaching for 29 years. She currently teaches kindergarten and “feels like this is her calling.”


Chrissy Luther has wanted to be a teacher since she was a young girl. It was said that one of her teaching strengths is “bringing down problems into steps that students can apply to many different math problems.” Chrissy has worked at Moore Middle School and is now teaching at Redlands East Valley High School, where she has taught all grade levels and has been there for 16 years.


Dawn Busi has taught in the Redlands School District for the past 18 years and currently teaches a K-1 combination class at Mission Elementary. Her teaching philosophy is “to create life-long learners who love to read.” She is also “an energetic and patient teacher who has the adoration of all her students.”


After thanking the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for hosting this event, Superintendent Arellano noted, “One of the most important features of our country is kindness. Tonight’s event shows that kindness.” In concluding remarks President Strong went on to say to the honored teachers, “You are they type of examples we want for our children.”


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