The EIS “Teacher Of The Year” awarded to Mr. Lazarow and Mrs. Swenson

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Emily Drennan

Every year, The Optimist Club Of Westfield awarded a teacher the title of “Teacher Of The Year” for their excellent work and compassion for their teaching. But last year, the COVID-19 pandemic caused this award to be cancelled, even when teachers deserved it the most. To make up for the loss, two teachers were awarded with this honorable award this year. Seventh grade Language Arts teacher, Marc Lazarow, and eighth grade Language Arts teacher, Kim Swenson, were awarded with this year’s title. Both teachers care about their students, show passion for teaching and put 100% effort into everyday life here at Edison Intermediate School (EIS).

One of this year’s winners, Mr. Lazarow declared, “I think the hardest part of this year was multitasking your attention between virtual and in person students…I would say that a negative was that it was more difficult to engage students in group projects. While you can use breakout sessions, it is still challenging for students to feel comfortable speaking through the use of Google Meet.”

The other recognized teacher, Mrs. Swenson, talked about how much she wanted to be a Language Arts teacher, even when she was a teenager. “I just fell in love with literature and I thought this could be the greatest job ever to come in and just interact with kids and experience literature on a regular basis.”

She also stated, “The year my son was in 8th grade was my favorite because it was so neat to watch him grow.”

Not only are these teachers happy with the results, the principal of EIS, Dr. Matthew Bolton explained, “When teachers truly care about their job and want students to succeed, students can improve exponentially. Research also shows that students can learn up to a year and a half more depending on the skill level of the teacher.”

Students can see that the “Teacher Of The Year Award” is not only a way for teachers to feel accomplished, but it truly calls out teachers who love their students and their job and go the extra mile everyday to make sure that their students learn and succeed. Even though this year has had many challenges like student safety, social distancing, keeping students engaged and finding ways to teach through a screen, both these teachers, and all the teachers at EIS, have done it effortlessly. So, thank you EIS teachers for going above and beyond everyday and helping every student succeed!