This school year, one very hardworking and beloved math teacher from Steinbrenner High School, Marie Puskas, won the much-deserved Teacher of the Year Award from the votes and praise she got from her co-workers and students.
Puskas, who was very surprised to receive the award, has been a teacher for 11 years, and has always loved her job, even when it seemed impossible.
“I was quite shocked; we have an incredible faculty and there are so many who deserve recognition for the impact they make. It’s just so humbling to be selected for something like this,” Puskas said. “I genuinely love my job. Any year when I make valuable connections with students is an amazing year.”
She was never interviewed for the award, but she did have to write about her experiences over her years of teaching.
“I had to write three essays,” Puskas said. “The prompts were very specific and interesting; they focused on various aspects of teaching including instruction, collaboration with teachers and the current climate like eLearning. I was a little intimidated by them!”
Puskas already enjoys her job so much, she doesn’t believe awards can make it better, although she is very grateful for it.
“I just try to help anyone I can—students to colleagues, I want to help! I always try to be positive. I love making life easier for everyone and I love making self-professed-math-haters into people-who-will-at-least-tolerate-math,” Puskas said.
During her years of teaching, she has learned a lot and has encountered numerous problems, but has persevered. She is forever grateful to her amazing co-workers she calls friends and her family, which helped her along the way.
“I have the best friends and family around—so, of course they have helped a lot,” Puskas said. “I’m just going to keep doing what I’m doing because it’s effective and it makes an impact.”
Alivia Roach // Staff Writer