Teachers earn nominations for teacher of the year

Six teachers throughout the North Kitsap region have been nominated for the Rangvald Kvelstad Award presented by the North Kitsap Teacher of the Year Foundation. Winners of the primary and secondary school awards will be recognized at the June 10 North Kitsap school board meeting. This week, the Herald features nominees Jackie Grable and Kristi Ladner.

Jackie Grable teaches fourth grade at Gordon Elementary School. She has been teaching for more than 33 years with 28 years in the North Kitsap School District. Grable has not only reached out and inspired her many students, she has also become a leader for the teachers. She has tackled one of the most important and challenging areas of child development: teaching reading for those students who were struggling with this key growth step. Time and again Grable has challenged and inspired a student to put in the effort to raise reading skills from below their grade level to reaching -- and even surpassing — their contemporaries.

Kristi Ladner teaches sixth grade at Christ the King Academy in Poulsbo. She has been teaching for 8 years, all at CKA. Ladner is the daughter of Tom and Judy Driscoll, long-time teachers at North Kitsap High School and CKA, respectively (Driscoll was the 1989 Teacher of the Year). Like the other nominees, Ladner has continually been focused on her students and their particular needs.

When the student arrived with sagging self-esteem, Ladner was ready. Applying a special curriculum which she created to reach that student, by the end of the year the student was on the honor roll and had become a successful class leader. Other students have related similar stories of their experiences with Ladner. Each of these students, having gone on to upper grades, frequently stops by to see their friend, who also happened to be their teacher.

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