Lindsey Otto joins Sarah Mathis as she reads a card written by members of the VS Sole Sisters, congratulating Mathis on her Teacher of the Year award. Otto and Mathis lead the 5th grade girls program.

VSHS 2018 retirees: Middle School cook Becky Williams, high school teachers Debora Vaughn and Lois Mulvaney and 4th grade teacher Sara Patterson.

“Relentless positivity.”

That unique phrase sums up Vinton-Shellsburg first grade teacher Sarah Mathis, says VS Education Association President Mindy McClintock, as she presented Mathis the 2018 Teacher of the Year Award.

McClintock praised Mathis for her “spot on lesson plans and classroom management,” the way she takes care of things and people, as demonstrated by her work with VS Sole Sisters as well as helping lead the school’s effort to raise funds  and show the school’s devotion to John Scriven, a school janitor who died of cancer five years ago.

“She is always asking, ‘How can I make things better?’ You can tell when you watch her students that all of them are buying what she’s selling,” McClintock adds. “And that is hard to do.”

Mathis also received the service area Teacher of the Year award from the AEA.

Along with Mathis, the VSEA honored the district’s four retirees:

Sara Patterson, fourth grade teacher – 37 years;

Lois Mulvaney, VSHS French teacher – 33 years;

Deborah Vaughn, VSHS English teacher – 32 years;

Becky Williams, VSMS cook – 29 years.

Elementary teachers Laurie Hyland and Sheri Miller received the VSEA Member of the Year Award. McClintock thanked them for their work for the VSEA, including the many years they helped organize the annual awards reception.

This year, the Friends of Education Award honored area veterans who work throughout the year at all buildings, speaking to students, participating in events and helping with contests. Those veterans included:

John Gualtier

Ron Geiger

Denny Miller

John Anderson

Toni Parizek

Jared Parmater

Garth Gardemann

Dave Goodell

Brandon Farmer

Otto Bush

Dale Henry

Jeanette Henry

Dave Dods

See more photos of the reception HERE.