Why teach? Educators today are under more pressure than ever before. Standards are changing, schools are growing, and the pay isn’t getting any better. Even so, talented and passionate individuals are still pursuing the profession, and veteran educators continue their work despite all the challenges.
Next Wednesday, Feb. 25, The Seattle Times – Education Lab, in partnership with the University of Washington College of Education and 88.5 KPLU, will present a teacher storytelling event on the University of Washington campus in Seattle.
The evening begins with an informal welcome reception with light refreshments from 6:30 to 7 p.m. outside Kane Hall room 220. Storytelling starts inside the auditorium at 7 p.m.
The program will be the third storytelling event organized by Education Lab. The first two events focused on students who had overcome obstacles to get to college. This time, five local teachers will share short personal stories about what led them to education, and what’s kept them going.
The public event is geared toward current and retired educators, as well as those who intend to pursue a career in teaching, but all are welcome to attend.
Audience members will also have a chance to share their own insights on the rewards and challenges of being a teacher. A short Q&A session will follow the main program, and 2015 Washington Teacher of the Year Lyon Terry will serve as emcee.
About our storytellers:
Britt Harris has taught in the Shoreline School District — the same district she attended as a child — since 1990. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Washington and a teaching certification for K-12 Choral Music and Secondary English/Language Arts from Seattle Pacific University. In her 25 years as an educator, Britt has taught middle-school and high-school English, coached, been a club adviser, and spent 11 years as a high-school activity coordinator. She currently teaches at Shorewood High School.
Kristin Leong is a teacher, speaker and writer. Her talk “Nightclub Bartending & Middle School Teaching: A Venn Diagram” was the kick-off talk at Ignite 24 at Town Hall Seattle. She is currently a teacher leader with the Puget Sound Educational Service District and teaches middle-school humanities at the International School in Bellevue. Kristin earned a bachelor’s degree from Sarah Lawrence College and her master’s in education from Antioch University. Find her on LinkedIn at linkedin.com/in/kristinleong and Twitter @kristinleong.
Mario Penalver is in his fifth year as a drama and language-arts teacher for Tacoma Public Schools. He currently teaches at Truman Middle School. In 2009, he earned a master’s degree in education from Pacific Lutheran University, emphasizing the integration of drama in general education classrooms. A few years prior to that, he founded ASTRA, a community theater group in Puyallup. More than two decades ago, Penalver was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder, a cognitive disorder that affects about four in every 100 of America’s children.
Marquita Prinzing is a National Board Certified fourth-grade teacher at Dearborn Park International School in South Seattle. Marquita holds a master’s degree from the University of Washington College of Education. She is a product of Washington state schools and is in her sixth year of teaching. Marquita is passionate about empowering students, families and communities to work together to make access to opportunities more equitable for our diverse population. One way she does this is by serving on the board of the League of Education Voters. She lives with her husband and 2-year-old son, Viet William-Prinzing Le, in Columbia City.
Andrea Soroko is an English language-arts teacher at Garfield High School in Seattle, where she serves on the assessment committee and the Creative Advantage Arts Team. Born and raised in Los Angeles, she received her teaching certificate and master’s degree in education from Stanford University. With seven years of teaching experience in California and Washington, Andrea recently became National Board Certified. In her free time, Andrea enjoys photography, dance and writing.
About our emcee:
Lyon Terry is the 2015 Washington state teacher of the year. He teaches fourth-grade at Lawton Elementary in Seattle, where he has served in several leadership roles. Lyon holds a master’s degree from Portland State University and has also taught in the Highline School District and New York City public schools.