I am writing this letter to pay tribute to teachers in our Payson Schools, namely, Gloria Joe, Ginger Sparks, Louis Crabtree and also Max Foster who will retire soon. As a former teacher in PUSD for 22 years, retiring in 2002, I have known these fine educators both from a professional viewpoint and as a parent of two children who were fortunate to have these teachers in their lives.
Since moving to Payson in 1979, I have seen numerous teachers come and go in our district and I am most thankful for the faithfulness, dedication and loyalty these four teachers/counselors have shown to our Payson youth.
My sons have wonderful memories of their time at the Middle School. One memory was preparing for those famous Science Fairs. I can say that science was not one of their favorite subjects until they met Gloria Joe and former teacher Jackie Menasco. These two teachers made science challenging, interesting and fun. Having judged at the Science Fairs was a delight for me personally. How I miss those Science Fairs! Just to think that my own children had the privilege to have Gloria Joe for a teacher ... One of three teachers to win the Disney America's Science Teacher of the Year, Innovative Teacher of the Year for Arizona given by the business community, Middle School Science Teacher of the Year awarded from ASTA, twice a State Nominee for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Wal-Mart Teacher of the Year and ... a true Master Teacher in my mind.
Ginger Sparks awarded Arizona Counselor of the Year, Louis Crabtree nominated for the Disney America's Language Arts Teacher of the Year are wonderful tributes to our teachers. There are probably more awards that I do not know about.
Max Foster has been such a positive influence in the lives of so many of our youth ... making math fun for one of my sons was a challenge indeed! Have a great retirement, Max! You deserve it! These four teachers have spent numerous hours, not required, to meet with parents, tutor and counsel youth, and share their visions for making learning and life better for their students.
Gloria, Ginger, Louis and Max, I count it a privilege to have been in the same profession with you! I am sorry it took so long for me to say Thank You!
Donna Reid, Payson