SALT LAKE CITY — Foxboro Elementary School fifth-grade teacher Allison P. Riddle was named Utah's Teacher of the Year for 2014 at an awards ceremony Friday night.
Riddle received a check for $10,000 and also will receive an interactive SMART white board for her classroom, a laptop computer and a $250 Visa gift card. She also advances to compete with fellow teachers of the year in a national competition.
In the next year, Riddle will gather with fellow teachers of the year in Scottsdale, Ariz., meet with the president in Washington, D.C., and attend space camp in Alabama.
Jean M. Brown, a parent volunteer for Riddle, wrote in a nomination letter that she's been amazed by the way Riddle is able to keep her classes under control with what seems like little effort.
“The students just wanted to be good students for Mrs. Riddle,” Brown wrote. “I have seen Mrs. Riddle take what is characterized as a problem student and completely turn them around to where they wanted to be better and learn.”
Foxboro Elementary Principal Kevin Prusse said Riddle loves her students, and they love and respect her.
"She teaches the students what is expected, and they measure up to her expectations," Prusse wrote in a letter. "Her classroom is a kids-centered class. The classroom atmosphere is upbeat, yet calm and non-threatening. She maintains discipline in the class through positive reinforcement and trust."
Riddle was chosen from 23 local school district and charter school nominations. All nominees were honored and presented with a gift from O.C. Tanner Co. during Friday night's awards ceremony at the DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Hotel.
Catherine Harrer Praggastis, an advancement via individual determination teacher at East High School, was named as first runner-up. She received a check for $5,000.
Aimee Breinholt, a kindergarten teacher at Jean Massieu School of the Deaf in Salt Lake City, was named second runner-up and received a check for $3,000.
The winners were chosen by a committee of representatives from the Utah State Board of Education, Utah State Office of Education, principals, superintendents, the Utah PTA, Utah Education Association and 2013 Utah Teacher of the Year Sara Hacken, who teaches at Lakeridge Junior High School in Orem.
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