By MAGGIE MCMURRAY
Moapa Valley Progress
Grant M. Bowler Elementary teacher Jesse Bush was recently honored by the Elwood Perkins Post 8336 of the Veterans of Foreign Wars as both the post and district winner of the Citizenship Education Teacher Award.
Bruce Hollinger, local chairman of the VFW teacher awards, along with fellow VFW members Joe Perez, Larry Griffiths, Darcy Bushman, and Ralph Healy, went to Bowler Elementary to present the award to Bush in front of an assembled group of staff and student body.
The Citizenship Education Teacher Award is awarded annually across the nation by local VFW posts to exceptional teachers who have an outstanding commitment to students. Teachers who promote civic responsibility and patriotism are prime candidates for the award. Teachers who win at the post level are advanced to the district level and then the state and national levels.
Bush, who teaches third grade, was nominated for the award by Bowler principal Shawna Jessen. Her application not only won at the post level, but also at the district level. Bush was the recipient of two cash awards, one each from the post and from the district, totaling $200.
“Jesse Bush is an outstanding example of the quality of teachers we have in this valley and we are very happy to recognize her for the Citizenship Education Teacher Award,” Hollinger said,
In her nomination letter to the district, Jessen mentioned several elements that made Bush an outstanding candidate for the award.
“Mrs. Bush focuses on student citizenship in the classroom, community, and nation,” Jessen wrote. “Students in her classroom develop a sense of responsibility to themselves and others and participate in decisions which affect the classroom community.”
Jessen praised Bush’s skill in the classroom and her skillful integration of technology into her daily teaching. She pointed out that Bush is an example to her students in achieving goals, having recently achieved one of her own personal goals by receiving a second Master’s degree in Library Sciences to go along with her one in Reading.
Bush was humbled, but pleased to receive the award. “It was a very emotional experience for me because teaching is something I put my whole heart into,” she said. “I have a great love for each of my students and I love teaching. To me it is the best job in the whole world and it was very rewarding to me to be recognized.”
Jessen was also pleased to see Bush win. “I love that to her every child matters and the whole child matters,” she said of Bush. “She’s a master interventionist and can take a child from wherever they are when she gets them and move them forward. That’s a rare gift in a teacher.”
Applications for next year’s teacher award are due on October 31. Anyone can nominate a local teacher by submitting a nomination letter under 300 words. More information is available by calling Bruce Hollinger at 702-308-1696.
Hollinger also reminds students that applications for the Patriot’s Pen and Voice of Democracy scholarship contests are due on October 31. This year’s Patriot’s Pen theme for middle school students is, “America’s Gift to My Generation.” Essays should be 300-400 words long. The Voice of Democracy audio-essay theme for high school students is, “American History: Our Hope for the Future.” Recordings should be 3-5 minutes.
More information on both of these programs can be obtained by going to www.vfw.org or by calling Hollinger.