Students Create Award to Honor Outstanding Teachers

After watching students be recognized week after week for their effort and accomplishments with the Du Bois Award, Boston Prep middle school students decided it was time to deliver the same type of honor and recognition to their hardworking teachers.  The MVT (Most Valuable Teacher) Award was created by the Middle School House of Representatives, a student leadership body.  Entirely independently, students conceived of the award, selected a recipient, and presented the first-ever MVT Award.

Math department chair and 8th grade math teacher Julie Duran was the first teacher to be honored.  Students noted that as soon as they created the award, they immediately came to consensus on the first recipient.  A copy of their speech about Ms. Duran follows:

"We have noticed how students get recognized for their actions, and we wanted to do the same for teachers. So we created a very special award to honor them. The award is called the Most Valuable Teacher, or MVT.

'The best teachers are those who show you where to look but don't tell you what to see'-Alexandra K. Trenfore. The teacher we’ve chosen embodies this quote very well.

This award goes to a teacher who is always willing to help her students when it’s needed. This teacher is passionate about what she teaches. One student said, 'This teacher is a wonderful teacher; willing to push you to your highest achievements.'

This teacher not only helps students during school but also after school. This teacher is an amazing person and lots of people agree. She is always busy doing something for her students.

A colleague of hers said, 'This teacher is a very intelligent, dedicated, and resourceful teacher and has a passion for her subject that goes beyond the classroom. This teacher’s students excel because of the determination she has to see them improve at all scales. She has the numbers to show that and remains humble at each step of the game. I'm happy to learn from someone as brilliant as her.'

Another colleague said, 'Beyond the classroom, to students and adults, this teacher is someone that you can come to, someone that always looks out for your best interests and is always there to share a laugh. You couldn't ask for a better representation of a person who connects at various levels to those that are around them. I value her experience, the moments that she has consoled me and looked out for me, and I appreciate all the small moments we share together. She is a powerful woman, and I'm glad she’s a colleague and a friend.'

It is with a great sense of pride that we present this first Most Valuable Teacher Award to Ms. Duran!"

In reflecting upon receipt of the MVT Award, Ms. Duran remarked, "This job is hard. This job tests your patience and perseverance, emotionally and mentally. In the flux of teaching and leading the department, it's easy to forget that that the students are always paying attention. The students notice how much work you put into being prepared for class, how much you want to push them to do better, and how much you collaborate with your team. Having been presented the award was the most humbling reminder of why I need to work hard, why I need to continue to push my students, and why I believe in the mission of our school. It was a complete honor to have received this recognition."

Ms. Duran's passion, skill, and extreme dedication to her students are a true asset to Boston Prep.  The Middle School House of Representatives looks forward to sharing this honor with more highly deserving middle school teachers in the coming months.