Katie Fagundes
Special to the Sun

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April 9, 2014
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Teacher of the Year | Truckee Hometown SEARS - Sierra Sun/North Lake Tahoe Bonanza select 5th finalist

TAHOE/TRUCKEE, Calif. — North Tahoe School teacher Lindee Eckert has been selected as the fifth Teacher of the Year finalist. She was recognized for her dedication to students. Principal Teresa Rensch described Eckert as someone who has a huge heart and is always there to help her students.

“Lindee Eckert is the teacher that emulates ‘whatever it takes,’” said Rensch.

On March 4, program sponsors Charlie Riley owner of Truckee Hometown SEARS and Michael Gelbman, publisher of the Sierra Sun/North Lake Tahoe Bonanza presented Eckert with a finalist award certificate and gifts from program sponsors.

“We are excited to be highlighting another amazing teacher,” said Riley. “Ms. Eckert’s excitement for math and science has been a gift to her students and the community.”

FOR THE LOVE OF TAHOE

Lindee Eckert, a third generation teacher, has worked in education for over 30 years. After earning a degree in outdoor recreation from San Diego State University, Eckert’s love of the outdoors brought her to Tahoe. She taught environmental studies through the Sugar Pine Point State Park’s Junior Ranger program and skiing at Squaw Valley’s Snow School.

After having children, Eckert started her own childcare. Then, while volunteering in her children’s classrooms she was recruited to become an instructional aide at Tahoe Lake Elementary. Later, while working as a special education aide, Eckert attended Sierra Nevada College to earn her teaching credential.

A NATURAL PATH

“To tell you the truth, I just fell into it,” said Eckert. “I realized students responded to my instruction and I loved the interactions with the students — and still do.”

Since earning her credential Eckert has taught fifth, sixth, and seventh grade, teaching social studies, language arts, science and math. She has spent the past 15 years teaching math and science. Eckert has enjoyed drawing on her own education background to get students excited about science.

“It is awesome to get them curious about how things work,” said Eckert.

She has been particularly excited to be able to nominate students to attend the TechTrek math and science camp. Girls at camp spend a week on a college campus taking classes and attending field trips.

“It has been exciting to have students come home from camp wanting to become scientists,” said Eckert.

Eckert has been teaching seventh-grade math this year. She has been excited to explore the new Common Core standards and curriculum to address them. Eckert strives to give her students real world examples and is excited to incorporate this into their math education.

“Changing can be exhausting, but it is exciting because I think this is a very positive move forward,” said Eckert.

Eckert’s positivity and enthusiasm has not gone unnoticed.

“Her dedication and commitment to our students is incredible,” wrote one parent nominator. “Her ability to communicate with the students’ families regarding progress and keeping our kids on track with assignments is much appreciated.”

EXCELLENT COLLEAGUES

Eckert is happy to be recognized for her work, but insists working with excellent colleagues helps her to be the best teacher possible.

“I would not be the teacher I am without the support of an incredible staff at North Tahoe, including Teresa Rensch,” said Eckert. “She is an incredible administrator that is always moving us forward.”

Eckert also thanks the S.W.E.P. team, Heather Segale, and mentors Nancy McNair, Dave Curry, Eileen Fahrner, Vicky Brown, and Terrina Woodard-Gross.

“And most importantly my academic coaches, Brian Kehoe and Sara Colburn, who always guide me gently when I go running to them with crazy ideas!” said Eckert.

Clearly what keeps Eckert teaching is her students.

“I want every student to realize their potential as a learning individual,” said Eckert. “I especially like it when students come back and share their successes as they move forward in life or stop me while out in our amazing community and share their time with me; those are the moments every teacher loves, to know they may have made a difference at some point in their lives.”

MAKE A NOMINATION

To nominate your teacher for the Truckee Hometown SEARS-Sierra Sun/North Lake Tahoe Bonanza Teacher of the Year award email tahoetruckeeteacheroftheyear@gmail.com or take nominations to the Truckee Hometown SEARS store 12047 Donner Pass Road.

The Truckee Hometown SEARS-Sierra Sun/North Lake Tahoe Bonanza Teacher of the Year award is made possible by the following sponsors: Mountain Hardware & Sports, Tahoe Truckee Brokers, Tahoe Dave’s Skis and Boards, The Office BOSS, Sierra Nevada College, McDonald’s Truckee, Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows Ski Resorts.

Next time you are in one of their stores, businesses, or resorts, thank them for their generous support of the Teacher of the Year program and their commitment to recognizing outstanding teachers in the North Lake Tahoe community.


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Tahoe Daily Tribune Updated Apr 9, 2014 08:58AM Published Apr 9, 2014 08:56AM Copyright 2014 Tahoe Daily Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.