Celebrate Wendy Todd, 2019 Kenai BP Teacher of Excellence
“When I learned I was recognized as a BP Teacher of Excellence, I thought that this award truly goes to the Paul Banks Peanuts community; my special colleagues, committed parents, and the incredible students I am lucky enough to teach every day. It truly takes a “whole” team to help the “whole” child grow. I am so thankful I have been given the freedom while teaching to allow kids to explore, do, try, create, and learn to love school. I feel passionate about helping students and parents get a positive start on their child’s education and get a foundation of skills to lean on for their future years.” – Wendy Todd
Ms. Wendy Todd teaches kindergarten at Paul Banks Elementary School in Homer, Alaska. She also coaches basketball at Homer High School, and she has a Bachelor of Science from Ithaca College and a Master’s in Education from the University of Alaska Southeast.
Kindergarten is most children’s first experience in school. Ms. Todd welcomes these young students into their first group-learning environment in a way that engages them in creative, consistent, meaningful activities that create a love of learning.
One parent of a child just entering the school system wrote, “Our daughter comes home every day excited to share what she’s learned. She is not even six years old, yet her reading improves weekly and she loves playing math games. I’m amazed at Wendy’s knowledge of each individual child’s stage of learning.”
Stories are told that some parents have a hard time determining if their child is really sick or not, because the young students won’t risk missing school.
Ms. Todd creates a safe, kind classroom with clear expectations. Furthermore, she works to engage older mentors, regularly inviting high school students and parents to her classroom to help with what she calls “cooperative learning and personalized instruction.”
One of her biggest strengths is helping intensive needs students or behavioral students improve their behavior and learning. Thankfully, Wendy is generous with her time and experience, hosting several student teachers and many practicum students over the years. She also serves as the newspaper liaison to share all the exciting learning happening at Paul Banks with the community.
“Wendy Todd is one of those teachers who makes everyone around her better,” said Eric Peterson, Paul Banks principal. “She is a professional through and through. Many students have become great readers under her tutelage and instruction. From a principal’s viewpoint, she is one of those teachers you cannot replace, but revel in the fact that you had a chance to work with someone who is exemplar in the profession.”
I am very proud of all our finalists for this prestigious award,” said Sean Dusek, superintendent. “They all embody the qualities we want all of our teachers to exhibit, especially in how they ensure a strong, positive relationship with each and every student. Each finalist is very deserving of this recognition and I look forward to their continued excellence and leadership in our district.”
For 24 years, the BP Teachers of Excellence program has honored K-12 teachers from public and private school districts statewide. Since the program’s inception in 1995, BP has recognized more than 750 teachers. Winning teachers receive a $500 gift card and a $500 matching grant to their school. Teachers also receive a trip to Prudhoe Bay to learn about BP’s operations and paid admission for the Alaska Resource Education’s teacher course.
BP Teachers of Excellence website