During surprise ceremonies conducted on May 24 and 25, Carbon Emery Telcom representative Jared Anderson presented Sandra Bertola and Mark Carrillo with the crystal apple award for teacher of the year.
According to Anderson a nominee for the award must be an exceptionally dedicated, knowledgeable and skilled teacher within an accredited school, teaching kindergarten through grade twelve. The nominee must be teaching and plan to continue in an active teaching status within Carbon or Emery County.
Three teachers in all were honored this year. A winner from Carbon County, one from Emery County and an overall Southeastern Utah winner.
The award includes a $250 cash prize for the separate county winners with a $500 cash prize going to the overall winner along with a mounted crystal apple for all winners.
Winners are selected via applications and letters of recommendation submitted by their peers.
Sandra Bertola the winner here in Carbon County was nominated by the staff of Petersen Elementary where she has taught sixth and third grade.
A letter written by Petersen Principal Melissa Hamilton states, "I have the privilege of observing Mrs. Bertola on a daily basis. I have found Mrs. Bertola to be extremely dedicated to her children and her profession. A new federal reading grant enticed Mrs. Bertola to make a grade level change from upper elementary to lower elementary. Knowing full well the challenges of the grant, Mrs. Bertola has approached them with confidence and enthusiasm."
Bertola was also supported by Petersen Reading Specialist Tisa Mannus who stressed that, "Sandra brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to her third grade classroom. She has high expectations of her students and helps them rise to the challenges she presents them.
The overall Southeastern Utah winner was Mark Carrillo, who teaches eighth through 12th grade woodworking, metal work, welding and cabinetry at both Carbon High and Mont Harmon Junior High.
When the application asked if Carrillo demonstrated concern for individual students nominating party Stacy Berggren replied, "An educator that will give my son more than 45 hours of his personal time to build as many projects as he can, to include a swinging bench, skate board, chair, log bed, miniature bats, duck calls and a cabinet is without a doubt an individual who is quite dedicated to the advancement of his students. To help a child, give him focus and build his confidence in his abilities is an action that deserves the crystal apple award."
Carrillo also received a ringing enforcement from Carbon High Vice Principal Todd Lauritsen.
"I can attest to the fact that Mark is conscientious, ambitious, dependable as well as knowledgeable," said Lauritsen. "Carrillo is a team player and a real asset to the district, I recommend him without reservation for this award," concluded the Carbon vice principal.