After 35 years with the Evergreen School District, Silver Oak's Bill Laraway has deservedly been recognized as Teacher of the Year.
"I'm truly honored to receive the award," he says. "It is a significant recognition of my many years of service to the Evergreen district and community. I'm proud of the numerous instructional, innovative, and leadership accomplishments that have benefited my students with unique experiences and opportunities while bringing recognition to the Evergreen School District."
The California native and San Jose State grad has been with Silver Oak for 20 years. Even though Howard Greenfield has only been principal at the school for a short time, he's already seen in Laraway what his long-standing colleagues have known for years. "Bill is an excellent teacher," Greenfield observes. "He is very energetic and creates a classroom in which he empowers his students."
After passing the 35-year milestone, Laraway can't help but be reflective. "It is an opportune time to reflect on a varied, successful career at the classroom, school, district, and association levels," he says as he follows a week accompanying students to science camp, winging it back just in time to receive his award. As he contemplates the rewards of his time as a teacher, several things come to mind. "The rewards of teaching come in several forms: daily, short-term, and long-term," he says. "Being able to nurture and coach students on a daily basis takes time and patience but is rewarded the moment the student says, 'I did it!' and realizes it themselves. I'm immediately rewarded when students make productive gains over time and positively reshape their thoughts about their capabilities. I'm deeply rewarded when former students return later in life to share their accomplishments and thank me for instilling strategies that led them to become successful adults."
The Teacher Recognition Celebration is the oldest and largest celebration of teachers in California, and the most prestigious local award given to teachers. On October 1st, the Santa Clara County Office of Education, along with standout teachers selected by their respective school districts, will honor Laraway at the official Teacher Recognition Celebration.