BEA Today

A paper by the students for the students

Teacher of the Year

The Teacher of the Year is an award chosen every year by the staff at BEA through The BEA Education Association. “Staff members can only win once, so it's a big deal to be chosen,” says Mrs. Ehlers, part of the BEAEA Teacher of the Year Committee. The winner can go on to apply for the state teacher of the year the following December to have a chance to win that too. Here at BEA, Brian Kokos is the winner of this year’s Teacher of the Year award.

Mr. Kokos is a 7th grade science teacher at Blue Earth Middle School who has has been teaching since 2000 and also coaches track and varsity football. He works as a technology coach at the school.

Kokos received his master’s degree in 2003, but has known that he wanted to teach since he was a senior in high school. When he helped teach a drug education class during his senior year in high school, he knew that he wanted to start making connections with the kids. He specifically chose teaching science he says because he likes to play around with labs and play with the microscopes.

“I was surprised about winning the teacher of the year award. I was surprised because the other staff was well qualified to win the award too. I was also happy, excited and honored. If I could, I would share this award with everyone,” says Mr. Kokos.

Mr.Kokos posing with is Apple award and certificate

on February 29, 2016 in the middle school choir room after

it was announced that he won at a staff assembly.

The Blue Earth Area Education Association accepts nominations for the Teacher of the Year from other staff members at Blue Earth Area, and then all of the staff members get to vote for a winner. “After we collect them, the votes are totaled up. The teachers really appreciate Mr. Kokos for what he does,” says Mrs. Ehlers.

Below is a copy of the nomination that was sent in by two staff members from BEA:

Mr. Kokos makes connections with his students beyond the classroom. He talks to the students, asks them questions, has conversations with them about what's going on in their lives, and in general cares about each of his students. I see his students fired-up to learn about genetics and the many other topics that he introduces to them. Mr. Kokos is in the building on the weekends and almost daily during summer to better his plans, create new ones, and in general make his lessons the best they can be for student learning. One nominator stated, "I think Brian is a very thoughtful and caring teacher. He goes out of his way to make sure his kids succeed in his classroom. You can see him during his lunch period, before and after school working with students who need the extra help. He plans lessons that are creative and engaging that get kids excited about science! He also helps students succeed in things like Peer Helping and on the field in sports. He works hard to help our students at BEA be their best!

There were three other staff members nominated too, Mrs. Maday from the BEA High School and Mrs. Schneider and Mrs. Moeller from the Elementary School. ‘’It was a very close race! We appreciate all of the hard-working men and women that we have the privilege to work with every day at Blue Earth Area. They truly help make this district a super place to be,” says Mrs. Ehlers.