High school teachers receive Partnership Plan award

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Photo submitted by the Partnership Plan

Science teacher Staci Brown receives the Partnership Award for her work in the school community. The award shines light on the work that staff do.

Shannon Pothen , Layout Editor

Every year, teachers and staff from across the district are chosen to receive the Partnership Plan award. Based off of their commitment to students and exemplary difference they make in the lives of students.  Two teachers from the high school Staci Brown, science and agriculture teacher and Paula Harrison, physical education teacher, were awarded this year.

The Partnership Plan started giving out the award in 2008. Their goal is to provide the resources and connections to the community with engaging experiences for students in Stillwater school district. Winners receive a $1,000 grant to designate to their choice of program. Candidates have to be nominated and have several people vouch for the work that they have done.

“So it wasn’t like she just said, ‘Oh, I think Paula Harrison should get it.’ It is a lot of work and she researched what else people did when they nominated and she did a really cute video of my students giving it from their perspective which was really cool,” Harrison explained.

Harrison has worked in the district since 1995. In 2019, she became the unified physical education teacher for the high school. That same year she began TRUST club, a acronym for True Respect Unifies Students Together. The goal is to bring students with disabilities and those who do not together to have fun through physical activities on equal levels.

“She has so many great ideas for promoting inclusion throughout our school, and I think she does a really good job of bringing together our school and making sure everyone’s included,” senior Ella Hamilton said about Harrison.

It’s neat that your peers recognize the work that you’re doing a good job and they see the connection that you have with the kids.”

— Staci Brown

Brown has worked at the high school for the past 23 years, she was surprised with the award during her veterinary science class. Most of the science department also supported and celebrated Brown’s accomplishment.

It’s neat that her peers recognize the work that she is doing a good job and they see the connection that she has with the kids, Brown explained.

Students who have gotten to know these teachers were not surprise to learn of them winning, so it is no surprised that Brown and Harrison have been involved in the Stillwater community for years, especially at the high school. By winning this award, it draws attention to the great work that they do for the schools.

It is “the little things that I hear kids say or just a simple little thank you note to me,” is what makes Brown feel validated and recognized for the work that she does, she explained.

The Partnership Plan award is special for teachers. It involves students and colleagues that know the person well. It’s a local award just for staff in the Stillwater district. This makes it feel intimate and personal for the recipients. There will be an official award ceremony May 5. to recognize the award winners in the district.

For Harrison “coming back up to the high school was a decision that I didn’t take lightly, ” but for her they award is just another indication that she is making a difference at the high school.