Teacher Appreciation Week: the students speak

A reflective window at BHS displays a motivational poster.

Cassidy Ochoa

A reflective window at BHS displays a motivational poster.

This week is Teacher Appreciation Week, a time when students give praise and thanks to the members of the BHS community. While the COVID-19 pandemic has brought about the need for modification to normal means of celebration, Beaverton students are as appreciative as ever.

There was no lack of appreciation for teachers in Beaverton’s English department. Sophomore Anna Scherer described English teacher Sherri Kurczewski’s kindness, excellent teaching skills, and relatability. “I feel she is underappreciated and demonstrates the core values of BHS,” said Scherer.

Kurczewski also came with her fair share of fun secrets. “Don’t tell anyone else,” junior Zoe Regan explained, “but Mrs. Kurczewski has a spectacular snack drawer. Whether you’re in the mood for something sweet, sour, or salty, she’s got it all!”

The English department’s plentiful talent doesn’t end with Kurczewski. Junior Ian Ovist is grateful for his AP Lang teacher, Tiffany Mathes: he explained how she’s “very kind to her students and it’s clear she cares about her class.” He added that she is a fun, friendly teacher who encourages everyone to give it their all in class. 

Junior Shiyon Kim first met her Beaver Lodge and Spanish teacher, Jeannette Valentin Alonso, during her freshman year. “I appreciate how she is always willing to help her students out the best she can,” said Kim. “She is also very kind to everyone and is a good Spanish teacher. I learned so much in her class.” 

Not only is Valentin Alonso a good teacher, but she’s an inspirational one at that. “I remember her telling my class about how being multilingual is important and how much it can help us in the future, and that really motivated me to keep learning Spanish even after high school,” Kim explained.

This teacher talent isn’t limited to the language departments: Health Careers teacher Michele Jakubauskas is also doing an admirable job. “She is very helpful and an amazing teacher and I feel like sometimes that might be overlooked or taken for granted,” said junior Sara Pashak. “She is very caring to all her students and helpful whenever we have questions. She teaches thoroughly and I really enjoyed her class.”

And social studies teacher Timothy Leyden truly connects with his students. “I never had a day when I didn’t look forward to his class,” said junior Noely Lopez, who takes Leyden’s AP Psychology course. “He made that class so enjoyable.” In particular, Lopez admires Leyden’s kindness and unique sense of humor.

Assistant wrestling coach Yovanie Galindo Reeder is no less talented. “He’s pushed me to my limit in wrestling and is a great wrestling partner,” said junior Maria Galindo Reeder. “He’s my brother, so he’s tough on me to make me better!” 

For her final year at BHS, senior Hannah Woffinden wanted to thank one of the teachers she has enjoyed spending time with the most: Emily Lux of the photography and art department. “Mrs. Lux is one of the best teachers I’ve had because she really cares about her students and their success in class,” said Woffinden. “She’s also interested in students’ personal life and getting to know them beyond the classroom.” Her favorite time with Lux was working on a mural in her classroom, where they made fond memories and tasteful art.  

Despite the cancellation of in-person school for the rest of the school year, the impact that teachers and staff members of BHS have on students is sure to outlast the COVID-19 pandemic. When students and staff once again populate BHS’ buildings, teachers and students will be back in the classroom, ready to learn and make memories together once more.