SALT LAKE CITY — Salt Lake City School District and the Salt Lake City Board of Education have announced Catherine Praggastis as the 2014 District Teacher of the Year and Amy Gutting as the 2014 District Special Education Teacher of the Year.
Praggastis has been the Achievement Via Individual Determination teacher at East High School for the past nine years. It is an elective class in Salt Lake District secondary schools designed to help underserved, first-generation, college–bound students with high academic potential participate in rigorous course work in preparation for entrance to colleges and universities.
Gutting teaches at Escalante Elementary School. The person who nominated Gutting says her students frequently call her the best teacher ever, because she helps them believe in themselves and their ability to learn.
Escalante Elementary serves a culturally diverse student body and is served by two special education teachers. Each time a new special educator arrives, Gutting has become the official mentor.
Praggastis will receive a check for $2,000 from the Salt Lake Education Foundation. She will represent the district in the state Teacher of the Year competition. In some school districts, special education teachers are not recognized separately, but thanks to an anonymous donor to the foundation, Gutting will receive a check for $1,000. She was also honored at a recent training for special education teachers.