John Hill, executive director of the National Rural Education Association, announced the selection of Virginia Sautner as the Monsanto Fund National Rural Teacher of the Year.
Sautner has taught ninth-grade English/Language Arts and Student Government at Lake Havasu High School for the past 13 years. She holds National Board Certification and is an Arizona Master Teacher.
Sautner shares, “When I started teaching I thought I should teach my students all the technical skills at the highest possible levels. Thanks to the guidance of so many great people I understand I need to teach students to be good people and good employees and the technical skills will follow.”
Lake Havasu principal, Scott Becker, describes Sautner as one whose “sincerity and compassion is put into all of her extra responsibilities as well as her teaching assignment.”
Katie Henderson, a Lake Havasu parent said, “Mrs. Sautner is the reason her children are successful as they are in their peer and community leadership efforts.”
Sautner’s peers hold her in high esteem.
Kelsey Balint, a fellow staff member, said, ”Sautner is one of a kind. She is a well-rounded educator who inspires those around her to have love for education.”
“She is the biggest role model to me and continues to surprise me with leadership, knowledge, and genuine care that she shows her students,” said Savannah Causey, a student at Lake Havasu High School.
In her letter of support, Jaime Festa-Daigle, Lake Havasu High School assistant principal, stated, “She never lets the fact that we live in an isolated community where education is not always the focus stop her. She continues pushing our school forward.”
Sautner will receive the award at the 108th National Rural Education Convention and Research Seminar and National Rural Education Forum on October 14 in Columbus, Ohio.
She will receive a $2,000 award and Lake Havasu High School will receive $1,000.
All finalists for the award will be recognized at the banquet.
Finalists for the 2016-17 Monsanto Fund Rural Teacher of the Year were:
Tiffany Adair – Mexia, TX
Brenda Bowman – Galveston, IN
Scott Lambley – Benkleman, NE
Kristen Richerson – Oakfield TN
Leah Shannon – Livingston, MT
Ronald Von Glahn – De Soto, WI
The Rural Teacher of the Year program is sponsored by the Monsanto Fund, which works to substantially and meaningfully improve the lives of people around the world. We’re focused on one goal – strengthening both farming communities and the communities where we live and work.