Words: Javiera Diaz-Ortiz
Photos: Zach Grable
This morning, Teacher-of-the-Year nominees, along with seniors selected by them, gathered in the staff lounge for the first ever Teacher-of-the-Year Breakfast. At the breakfast, English teacher Sara Duran was named Centennial’s Teacher of the Year for 2019.
Following the announcement, Duran gladly accepted her award and flowers with a smile.
“I feel honored,” said Duran. “I was in shock, and I’m really thankful for the seniors who voted for me.”
Duran is in her seventh year of teaching at Centennial. She has also been the sponsor for Centennial’s National Honor Society, and she is currently an SAT coordinator. Being a multi-level English teacher has allowed Duran to watch some of the seniors grow.
“I do think that this is a phenomenal group of students, and they’re unlike any other class that I’ve taught before them,” Duran claimed. “So, it’s an extra special honor not to just be there as they graduate, but also to be part of their moving-on to the next step of their lives. And I know that they will all be really successful in whatever they do.”
Nominees present at the breakfast expressed their praise for Duran.
“[Duran] is a great person and a great teacher, and I’m happy for her. She’s so deserving,” said teacher of the year nominee Lauren Mancini.
Leading up to her win, Duran overcame some challenges, as all teachers do. She says that she has had to find a balance between rigor and fun, both for her students, and for herself as a teacher.
“That’s something that for me, took a little while to figure out, and weirdly, last year was the year that I was able to get that together,” said Duran.
With her title as Teacher of the Year, Duran will give a speech at graduation this May.
“It’s definitely a privilege, an honor, with this class especially.”
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