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May 28, 1998     Quad City Herald
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May 28, 1998
 

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Michael Porter and Lupe Martinez receive Bridgeport Exellence in Education award ! / Cheryl Schweizer photo Mlchsel Porter has as much fun in second grade as his students. sunflower seeds on the carpel When he saw Martinez cleaning them up, he apologized, saying he hadn't been thinking. He helped clean up, and he didn't drop junk on the carpet after that incident. "They're kids. They're still in the learning process." (Of course, they also know they will be liable for detention if they get caught littering, he said.) Martinez said in his opinion part of the reason for the good attitude he sees at Bridgeport High School is the teaching stattand administrators. "The staff has a lot to do with it." The teachers are interested in and respect the kids, and in turn, they respect the teachers. "You have to respect in order to be respected," he said, and the teachers at Bridgeport High School know that. Lupe Martinez has lessons to teach the students as well. "I tell them, 'you try to do your best, and go further.'" He tries to do his best job, every day; "it's just the way YoU have to do your work." It was Martinez's desire to spend more time with his children that led him to give up a better-paying job in Michael Porter said teaching second grude is like having a room ful of children of his own. Guadelupe Martinez said his custodian's job is more enjoyable because of the teenagers at school. Porter and Martinez were named the 1998 Excellence in Education award winners for the Bridgeport School District. Porter said sometimes he is asked if he has children; "I say, 'of course. I have 20 ofthem.'"A teacher develops a relationship with each student--and once that relationship is established it grows throughout the school year. "It reallyislike having an extended family." He said one of the reasons he likes teaching second grade is the way his students are excited about school. "hey're happy to be here."The children are interested in new thingsm "their minds are like sponges"--and they are excited about what they learn, he said. "1 love second grade. These guys are great." Porter said one of the best things about teaching in Bridgeport is the relationship between the school and community. Parents and other district patrons attend many school functions; Porter said the parents of his students are very interested in their children's education. He said he loves to talk with them about their children. In addition to his classroom job, Porter is the grade school's technology troubleshooter---he is summoned when computers refuse to cooperate or even operate. He said the computer repairs and maintenance present a whole different kind of challenge, one that he likes. It does make his job more demanding, he said, but"l really get a lot of Support." The second grade teachers meet regularly to discuss their lessons and teaching strategies. "Also, we have an incredible principal." Porter and his wife Amy decided to apply for jobs in Bridgeport after meeting district superintendent Bob Allen at a career fair in Tacoma, Porter said. They are natives of a small town in Eugene, Oregon, in the rainy Willam ette Valley. Their first teaGhing jobs were in Molalla, near Salem. The move to Bridgeport was a major change, but "the only thing that was hard to get used to was the lack of rain." It's a move Porter doesn't regret. "I love Bridgeport school." He likes his students, the district staff, the community---even the school board members. "It's all terrific." Lupe Marlinez is the custodian at Bridgeport High School, and he said one of the best things about the job is the teenagers he meets at school. "I tell you, if they weren't here I'd move on," he said. But since they are there, "I wouldn't change this job unless I won the Lotto. I like to come to work more, becanseofthekids." Being around the teenagers is fun, he said. 'I think kids are great, because you know they will learn from a mistake if you work with them."Theevidence of this is the way the teenagers take care of Bridgeport High School. The high school building is very clean now, because the students keep it that way. But they weren't (and aren't) always careful about cleaning upafter themselves. Martinezrecounted an incident where a student dropped Chelan, he said. He was in management at Beebe Orchards in Chelan, supervising picking and thinning crews--but it was demanding and consumed a lot of his attention, he said. "Even when I was seeing them (his family), I was thinking about work." He decided the job wasn't worth it, he said."Money isn't everything. Being as much as you can to your family" is most important, he said. Martinez is a Bridgeport alumnus, in a way. "My pictme should Lupe Martinez have been over there---(class of) 1978," he said. But his parents returned to Mexico when he was a freshman, and eventually he dropped out of school there to go to work. Sometimes on the job he encountered con't on page 6 Ouad Cih/ Hlarald Idly la lflg8 patno Sam and Dezellem win 13re00vster Exc00 ,he lee in Edu(:ation award Edith Sattler and Raelynn Dezellem have been recognized as winners of the 1998 Excellence in Education award for the Brewster School District. Sattler is the Brewster Elementary School principal; she has announced her retirement, effective at the end of the school year. (See the May 14 issue of the Quad City Herald.) Dezellem, a nine year employee of the district, is a speech therapy assistant. That means she helps children who are having.trouble speaking clearly, as well as children who have difficulty with vocabulary and in form ing sentences. "I see preschoolers up through high school," she said. The children that come to her classroom at the end of the hall usually are having trouble talking, eitherbecause they can't form words properly or because they Rselynn Dezellem can't find the right words to say. Her younger pupils usually are having Irouble with their grammar and vocabulary, she said, while her older students usually have difficulty forming complex sentences, not only spoken but written. "If you can't write sentences, most of the time you can't formulate them orally, either." Currently she Works with about 55 children, she said. About one-third of them have what Dezellem called articulation problems, who are having trouble pronouncing words correctly. The remaining two-thirds are having difficulty with language. Dezellem does not determine the courses of therapy on her own; she works with a speech therapist. The combination of Brewster's relatively remote location and the high demand for such specialists statewide means Dezellem has worked with five different speech therapists in her nine years in the program. Her presence has provided continuity Edith Sattler for the children and an opportunity for her. It is really fun and rewarding to watch her students grow up, she said, In fact, some of her first students are in high school now. She works with children of all ages; "I don't get stagnant." The job is"always something new and different," she said, and that is one of the things that keeps it interesting. Different age levels demand different teaching methods; instead of using fiction writings as part of her curriculum for high school students, she uses the driver's license manual. The best part is when the lessons succeed. "It's always exciting to exit somebody." con't on page 6 REWSTER m Brewster High School Class / of 1998: Fernando Arebalo, Jayme Tupling, Judd Shepard, Eddie Buchmann, Carlos Mariscai, Pat Morris, Heath Brown, Joel Bennett, Troy Giicrest, Willie Jess, Eric Hammack, Edgar : Arellano, Liditze Villaglano, Maria Arzate, Nelly Arehalo, Maricruz Zabala, Starla ' Kleven, Autumn Miller, Traei Vranjes, Drew Becket', Lareasa Bowman, Elizabeth Rios, Pedro Cruz, Juan Sanchez, Colleen Eten, Yavonne Westland, Cynthia Glover, Rachel Cooper, Jeremy Vandelac. ,