Three Carson City School District instructors will get a double-bonus Wednesday as the Rotary Club of Carson City presents scholarship awards for excellence in education and hosts retired Air Force fighter pilot/keynote speaker Brian Shul at 5:30 p.m. in the Galaxy Theater.
The evening, which is also a Rotary fundraiser for the Carson Tahoe Cancer Center, will honor the work of Carol Antila, a first-grade teacher at Seeliger, Lori Tureson, a second-grade teacher at Fritsch and Angela Golik, a government teacher at Carson High.
The teachers' dedication to helping the community beyond the classroom will be recognized, said Supt. Mary Pierczynski.
"The teachers are rewarded with a cash prize; it's basically a rotary teacher-appreciation award for simply going above and beyond," she said. "I can just say that all three of the women who were selected are truly outstanding educators ... and there was a lot of competition for this award; it was a very difficult selection for the judges."
"One of my coworkers encouraged me," Angela Golik said. "I pursued it based on that. I just think it's nice to be recognized - in any capacity.
"There's more to teaching than what goes on in the classroom. I try to live my life as a role model and stay involved in numerous other clubs and activities beyond the regular school day. But I think that's true of many teachers in this district."
Golik said she thought it was her effort to persuade her students (mostly high school seniors) to become actively involved in the community as they prepare for adult life that earned her recognition this year.
"I've got kids donating their time at Seeliger. I've got kids teaching soccer skills. I've got kids reaching out trying to raise money for (poor) in Africa," she said. "It's about community service. It's about teaching them to give back to humanity. In a democracy, it's important to learn early on about civic responsibility."
Responsibility is seemingly the name of the game all the way down to the elementary level. Honoree Antila said she thinks her new program to help teach her Seeliger first graders fiscal responsibility got her recognition this year.
"It was a program I just kind of came up with," she said. "In social studies we learn about economics. So I made sure each student has a choice of a job and by doing one of 17 jobs they earn (plastic) money or credits to exchange for things they want. Be it goods from a prize box or free art time, they learn about saving and spending and choices.
"I think (many) understand better the choices their parents have to make."
Antila tied for the award with second-grade teacher Tureson, who initiated a long-standing program of taking students to explore the Carson River a half-dozen times a year to observe changes in weather, water and conditions for plant and animal life.
Golik will receive a $2,500 award for the secondary level; Antila and Tureson will split $2,500 for the primary level award.
"The work of these (teachers') students in the community and the values they share outside the classroom is such a great reflection," Pierczynski said. "I think for anyone in the community Wednesday night will be an uplifting event.
"Beyond recognizing our teachers and raising money for the cancer (center), we're going to listen to a man with such a story of personal power, a personal story of strength and patriotism. It will be uplifting, moving and exciting."
Honoree Antila said she is just "simply excited and surprised" to be attending Wednesday's ceremony.
"This isn't something I planned on, I had no clue she said. "It's just nice to be recognized and to be able to attend an event like this."
Ex-spy plane pilot to make keynote address
Ex-fighter pilot Brian Shul will share his personal story on Wednesday as keynote speaker in a fundraiser for the Carson Tahoe Cancer Center. Through personal commitment and persistence, Shul rose beyond near-death injuries to pilot the SR-71 spy plane during the Cold War. His presentation will feature photographs and stories about the SR-71 Blackbird. The public is welcome to this event at the Galaxy Theater.
What: Reach for the Stars Rotary Club of Carson City teacher awards and Carson Tahoe Cancer Center fundraiser
When: Wednesday, April 23; Hosted cocktails and hors d'oeuvres, 5:30-6:30 p.m.; Program runs from 6-9 p.m.
Where: Galaxy Theater, 4000 S. Curry St.
Event details: The charity fundraiser will feature hosted cocktails and hors d'oeuvres as well as a keynote address from famed Air Force fighter pilot Brian Shul and a performance by comedian Kat Simmons. There will also be a live auction. A $100 donation per person goes to the cancer center and teacher awards.
Tickets are still available: Call 888-1122, ext. 200 or 221-4134 to buy tickets.