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Examiner
  • Schraml stunned with Teacher of Year honor

  • Like most teacher of the year nominees, winning such a prestigious award comes as a shock. But for Sarah Schraml, the honor left her speechless.

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  • Like most teacher of the year nominees, winning such a prestigious award comes as a shock. But for Sarah Schraml, the honor left her speechless.
    “I didn’t expect this,” she said after winning the award. “I feel so very blessed to be honored in this way.”
    Schraml, a fifth grade teacher at Santa Fe Trail Elementary, was named the 2013 Independence School District Teacher of the Year during a special breakfast Thursday at Ophelia’s Restaurant. She has been a teacher for 11 years – four at Thomas Hart Benton, where she went to elementary school as a child, and the last seven at Santa Fe Trail.
    As Teacher of the Year, she will now be eligible to compete in the Missouri State Teacher of the Year program. After completing an application and interview, the finalists are named this summer. The winner is announced in the fall.
    “This is a great event that we have annually to recognize our Teachers of the Year,” said Superintendent Jim Hinson. “The only thing we can’t see today are the lives and individuals that you touch on a daily basis.”
    Like last year’s teacher of the year winner Natalie Payne, Schraml is a lifelong Independence resident. She attended Thomas Hart Benton and Bridger Middle School before graduating from William Chrisman High School.
    “I have been a resident of Independence my whole life, and I have always worked hard to be an active community member,” she said. “I started at Benton and moved onto Santa Fe. It is just a huge honor to be recognized like this.”
    Janet Gibbs, principal at Santa Fe Trail, said she believes it’s Schraml’s passion for children that makes her stand out as a teacher, She said day in and day out, Schraml demonstrates that passion in whatever she is doing.
    Gibbs said there is also this “incredible pride” in the Independence School District that shines through, making her a “wonderful ambassador.” Students and staff lined the hallways of Santa Fe Trail before Schraml returned to the building Thursday. It was followed by an impromptu assembly where she was able to share the excitement with the entire school.
    “I think my first reaction was happiness for Sarah. I see how hard she works each day and to see her recognized makes me so proud and happy. She is the real deal,” she said. “We knew that the kids would enjoy being part of that (celebration). And of course, she threw the recognition back to the staff and the kids for their hard work. That is what is important to her.”
     
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