GIPS honors teachers who show what it's like to "be grand"

Selena Wardyn was honored as principal of the year for GIPS (NTV News)

Grand Island Public Schools honors who show what it means to “be grand”.

Staff returned to school Thursday, and six of the district's teachers were surprised by the Grand Island Public Schools Foundation.

That includes two teachers at Walnut Middle School.

Last year, the school was chosen for a pilot project, for more rigorous academics that also put kids in control.

Assistant Principal, and award winner Selena Wardyn said, “We weren't really sure what to expect and when the experts from Florida and Learning Sciences International say this is great, you're doing exactly what we want, almost beyond what we're looking for. We feel pretty validated.”

Lori Coble, middle school teacher of the year, said she’s always up for a challenge, but the changes she’s seen more recently have been some of the biggest and most rewarding.

“This will be my 31st year in teaching and things have definitely changed so for me to turn it over to the students, was a difference, but a very, very positive difference,” she said.

Angela Runquist was honored as specialist of the year, while Jeff Vyhlidal was selected as high school teacher of the year. Wasmer Elementary para-educator Pat Tatro was support staff of the year, and Bianca Ayala was elementary teacher of the year.

The first day for most Grand Island students is next Thursday.

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