The Ocean View School District (OVSD) announced its elementary and middle school Teachers of the Year with surprise visits to Hope View Elementary School and Spring View Middle School. The 2020-21 Teachers of the Year are Mrs. Holly Sjogren, a 4th/5th grade teacher at Hope View, and Mr. Scott Vanatta, a math teacher at Spring View Middle School.
Superintendent Dr. Carol Hansen announced each recipient at school staff meetings amidst cheers and applause. Today, it was announced that Mrs. Sjogren will serve as the District’s nominee for the county-level Teacher of the Year program, which is coordinated by the Orange County Department of Education in the spring.
The Board of Trustees will honor both Teachers of the Year at its regular meeting on April 7, 2020. “It is an honor to recognize these outstanding educators. Both of these teachers understand the importance and value of social emotional learning, and they are exemplary leaders in this arena,” said Dr. Hansen.
Elementary School Teacher of the Year
Holly Sjogren, Hope View Elementary School, Huntington Beach
For the past 28 years, Ms. Sjogren has taught 4th and 5th grade at Hope View. Not only does she work to tirelessly to support the students in her class, but she also gives back to the community by helping to train a guide dog puppy to help the greater community, which in turn helps the social emotional needs of all students at Hope View.
By bringing the Guide Dogs of America to Hope View, Mrs. Sjogren is teaching our students and staff the importance community plays in helping those who need it the most. In raising guide dog puppies, Mrs. Sjogren teaches empathy, service to others, lessons about blindness and disability, service dog etiquette, responsibility, dog care, and dog training.
In addition to being the school’s Social Emotional Learning Coach, Mrs. Sjogren enriches every Hope View student’s life by fostering character development and leadership skills through her efforts spearheading the Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports. She genuinely cares about her students and her students are successful because of the support and mentoring they receive from her.
Middle School Teacher of the Year
Scott Vanatta, Spring View Middle School, Huntington Beach
For the past 23 years, Mr. Scott Vanatta has been teaching 6th – 8th grade math, algebra and leadership at Spring View Middle School. However, his colleagues say that he has the endless enthusiasm and energy of a first year teacher! Mr. Vanatta is very popular with students because he makes math fun. He also connects with students through ASB and the annual educational trips he leads to New York and Washington.
Mr. Vanatta was an early supporter of Social Emotional Learning and he takes the time to know each student personally, emotionally and academically. He can remember all of them by name even years after they have left his classroom. But perhaps most importantly, Mr. Vanatta makes students feel special and he lets them know he believes in them. Mr. Vanatta models lifelong learning and shows students how to be the change they want to see in the world.
Hope View Elementary School is located at 17622 Flinstone Drive in Huntington Beach. Spring View Middle School is located at 16662 Trudy Lane in Huntington Beach.
This article was released by the Ocean View School District.