2018 Educator of Promise, Nick Bee, Takes on Challenge with 2015 WI Teacher of the Year, Diana Callope
Being a Wisconsin Teacher of the Year comes with an overwhelming and wonderful recognition year followed by years of dedication and service to education. Since my year of recognition in 2015, the opportunities available both challenged me and supported my growth in ways I could not have imagined. The most rewarding parts of this honor allow me to extend opportunities to newer (dare I say younger) teachers. The mentorship and networking that comes with collaboration between State Teachers of the Year (STOYs) and teachers in the early stages of their careers is tremendously beneficial and rewarding to all involved.
In June, 2018, a request came from the DPI for STOYs to participate in an Educator Rendezvous to be held in August. We were charged with selecting an Educator of Promise (a promising early career educator) to attend the event with us. Nick Bee, an eighth grade social studies teacher, proved to be an awesome choice. I had no doubt. Nick is a teacher who recognizes the importance of positive relationships and who has a genuine interest in his students’ success. He works collaboratively with team members to create challenging curricular opportunities and provides guided support for his students. Nick is able to recognize his own challenges and is a great example of having a growth mindset. He is willing to take on a challenge, but also knows how to keep it fun.
The 2018 Educators of Promise and their nominating STOYs gathered at St. John’s Military Academy in August for a weekend of collaboration, teamwork and leadership under the guidance of members of the Army National Guard. We were challenged with a break-out session, morning calisthenics (Army style), rappelling, an obstacle course, creating and scaling a rope bridge and a paintball experience. The challenges presented built bonds and helped us recognize how students sometimes feel when school becomes overwhelming or hard.
Nick and I have carried lessons learned into this school year and we continue to remind each other of the challenges we faced and conquered that weekend in August. “I appreciate that our state DPI recognizes and values early career educators,” Nick says. “It was amazing to build a bond with a group of teachers who have achieved such high accolades.