5 Teachers Who Made a Difference in 2011

by Amy Harper

cc licensed flickr photo shared by woodleywonderworks

Marissa Bellino

Environment Seminar, Global Environment, Environmental Science Research

High School for Environmental Studies in NYC

The High School for Environmental Studies is well-known for its passionate push towards creating more environmentally-focused and "green" school curriculum. Amongst the many teachers that teach there, Marissa Bellino is one that stands out as an especially passionate and committed individual. Not only has she always shown commitment to the cause of spreading awareness and educating youth as to the importance of caring for and protecting the earth, but she also shows that same level of commitment when it comes to her students. She has undertaken some serious and important tasks at the school, never shying away from a challenge or giving up when obstacles come. She worked through reorganizing the school's science facility, which was a major task. She also planned an amazing field trips to Japan. Students were able to meet with experts on CO2 emissions and brainstorm with the brightest minds in the field about ways to create sustainable and clean energy. Bellino's passion and her unique approach of bringing together incredible opportunities for the students to learn has created a lasting impression in their minds. Many of her students have gone on to pursue the field of environmental science. These are the problem-solvers of tomorrow and their lives have been truly changed by this fantastic teacher.

Misty Joyner


Church Hill Elementary School

Hawkins County, Tennessee

Many believe that Kindergarten is the most important step in a child's journey through education and Misty Joyner does not take lightly the responsibility she has a Kindergarten teacher. Joyner has taught for over 11 years now. Her commitment to her class and the school is not limited to getting through curriculum. She also has demonstrated great vision and spirit by getting the community involved with helping the school. She was able to acquire grants from a local company and donations from other groups that she was able to use to teach a two-week unit on space exploration, another on fossils and molds, and yet one more unit on math around the world. She also did fund-raising activities to raise money for the new Kindergarten playground. Joyner is an exemplary teacher and a committed member of the staff.

Professor Norman Kettner


Chair Department of Radiology

Logan College of Chiropractic


Dr. Kettner was honored in 2011 with a very special award called the Emerson Award for Excellence in Teaching. This prestigious award is evidence of the tremendous impact he has made on students and for the school over his years of service. Dr. Kettner has been teaching at Logan since 1980 and has been singled out and honored for his particularly successful teaching method and commitment to the research in the field of chiropractic medicine. His passion for helping people has made an impression on his students and he has passed on to them much more than simple mechanics and information. He has been involved in many organizations and has spearheading the college's partnership with the Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging at Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. Kettner has made a big difference in the lives of students who will go on to make a difference in the health of many.

Kristen Ann Record


Bunnell High School

Stratford, Connecticut

Kristen Ann Record was honored, not just by her school, but by the entire state of Connecticut in a special ceremony at the White House. Record was able to meet both President Obama and Jill Biden, as she represented the best of the best in education. Record is known to be one of the most passionate and beloved of the instructors. She has an ability to break down some very complex information into just the right format for her students to truly grasp it. She passes on her love for physics and continues to change lives on a daily basis.

Geri Russell

5th Grade Science

St. Mary's Catholic School


The students will all agree that a science class under Geri Russell's instruction is never boring. Using a variety of tools and illustrations, Russell brings science to life and places it directly into the hands of her students, which is why they tend to retain more and even enjoy their science lessons. Russell also teaches math and religion at the school. In 2011 she was awarded a Distinguished Teacher Award at the National Catholic Education Association. Her lifetime commitment to education has meant a lifetime of making a difference in these young lives. She is truly a treasure to her school and pupils.

This post was written by Amy Harper

Amy Harper is a high school teacher and guest author at Top Teaching Colleges, a school with guides and resources to assist prospective teaching students.

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