Madra Earns Annual Educator Distinction

Emily Fong, Staff Writer

Math teacher Nita Madra’s dedication to educational excellence won her the 2012-2013 Educator of the Year recognition in the Acalanes Union High School District.

According to Principal John Walker, criteria for the nomination includes depth of course knowledge, range of instruction to all students, leadership of both staff and the student body, and influence beyond the classroom.

A teacher who meets such standards can merit consideration by their peers, meaning that staff members can write a statement that highlights the teacher’s performance. Then a committee consisting of 4 teachers and an administrator sift through the nominations and select a finalist.

“It’s almost embarrassing,” said Madra. “You can look around, especially at all the teachers I work with. They are all so inspirational. I don’t think I do anymore than them.”

Eventually, a District Committee selects the recipient of the award to represent the entire district. “I think it’s a great source of pride for the school, knowing that educators around the district recognize one of our staff, one of our colleagues as an educator of the highest caliber,” said Walker.

Along with the average teacher’s duties, Madra advises for the Robotics Club. According to Walker, she is “very committed to professional development” by attending additional teacher conferences and meetings.

Walker also points out Madra’s range of experience, having taught a wide variety of students, from freshmen in Geometry to seniors in Calculus BC.

Madra attributes her success to the support of her fellow teachers. “Your colleagues support you, help you out, give you materials,” she said. “Whatever I do in the classroom, it’s because of their support.”

Madra believes desire and motivation to develop as a teacher does not simply stop by winning a distinguished award. “I feel there’s always room for improvement. As educators, we always strive to be better. You strive to do better than what you did before,” said Madra.