Your 2017 Teachers of the Year!

Brecht’s Big Win

By: Chris Arias, Review Staff

At the consensus of many, Mr.Brecht, graduate of Colorado State University and teacher of five years, is one of Rangeview High School’s favorite staff members.

“Everyone loves Mr. Brecht, and that’s what I want him to know,” says junior Lizzie Stacks when talking about her favorite teacher and leadership sponsor.

Brecht recalls his 12th grade English class at Rangeview where he discovered his love for English.

“That was the first class where I actually enjoyed the reading that we did, and talking about the reading that we did. And that’s where my passion for English came. It was in college later on when I decided that I wanted to pass that passion on to others,” explains Brecht.

Stacks describes Brecht as “unapologetically himself,” and explains that he is unique because he works to make personal connections with his students.

Mr. Brecht teaches one of his English classes on the current book they are reading. He will not be returning to teach in the 2017-18 school year. (Chris Arias)

“I always try to push my students to try something new, to go out of their comfort zone, and I feel like a lot of students get used to ‘playing school’ and succeeding in that way, and I want them to get more out of it than just a grade,”

Many students can attest to Brecht’s effective style of teaching, and express that it has been helpful in their education.

“I think he just helps us students and he really cares about us, and he trust us with working alone,” mentions sophomore Elizabeth Keefe, one of Brecht’s English 10 students.

Other than the required English curriculum, students have expressed that Brecht tries to convey life skills and lessons to his students.

“Try to enjoy everyday. Try to gain something from everybody you come in contact with, whether it’s a friend, an enemy, whether it’s someone you date, or a teacher — experience is the best educator. Try to experience as much as you can,” says Brecht.

Between coaching basketball to sponsoring leadership, it is apparent that Brecht is very involved with the Rangeview community and has made a lasting impact.

“He has made a huge mark, not just as an English teacher for sophomores, but as humanities teacher, as a leadership sponsor, as a basketball coach, and as Coach Bolton in High School Musical last year,” says Stacks.

At the dismay of many, Brecht will not be returning to Rangeview for the 2017-18 school year.

He says, “Rangeview will always hold a little special place in my heart; everybody can find value in it, and I’m gonna miss it.”

 

Westerdale Continues Social Studies’ Winning Streak

By: Alivia Lee, Review Staff

The Rangeview social studies department keeps with tradition as Mrs. Westerdale has been named the 2016-2017 female teacher of the year. After just five years at Rangeview, Westerdale has made quite the name for herself as a teacher. From geeking out with students over Harry Potter or Doctor Who to instructing the Color Guard and Winter Guard, Westerdale is clearly able to connect to a very wide variety of students.

For the last few years the social studies department has had at least one winner and Westerdale was able to keep the streak alive with another victory. From the relevant life lessons taught in her class, to the constant emotional support offered, many would say that Westerdale is beyond deserving of this recognition.

“I really try to be engaged not just in my lessons, but in my student’s lives,” said Westerdale. “I try to put humour in my teaching– I try to keep my students not only engaged, but challenged.”

Though Westerdale has been able to prove her abilities in the classroom, she prefers to not limit herself to the social studies department. Westerdale likes to be as involved as possible with the school. During the year, Westerdale is a Color Guard instructor in the Fall, a Winter Guard instructor, was the STEP team sponsor, and enjoys going to the plays, musicals, and basketball games.

“My goal is always trying to be seen more,” says Westerdale regarding her involvement with Rangeview.

Students who have not even had Westerdale as a teacher are able to connect with her and find a support in Westerdale.

“I just know her from Winter Guard; I’ve never had her as a teacher. She really helped me be more confident in myself,” said junior Laurian Quezada. “She is very supportive of all people, no matter their background, gender, or sexuality– she never denotes anyone.”

Many other students have agreed that Westerdale is truly the character and supporter. Though for Westerdale supporting and motivating her students practically comes second nature.

“I like seeing new students every year and seeing the old kids return. I kinda match my personality to the kids,” said Westerdale. “So, this year I’ve been very funny, engaging, and welcoming.”

For Westerdale, winning teacher of the year has been a great accomplishment and she is very appreciative for those that voted for her and for those that have supported her. This year’s teacher of the year finds her love for teaching in the ability to not only inform the masses about what is going around in the word, but in the ability to connect with students and make a difference in their lives.

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