Rachel Eaton, fifth-grade teacher at Gotsch Intermediate School, has been named the Affton School District’s 2016-2017 Teacher of the Year.
At an awards ceremony on April 13, Eaton was awarded the honor. Each Affton school also named a Teacher of the Year for their building. They include: Zandra Jackson at Mesnier Primary; Eaton for Gotsch Intermediate; Katie Guiett at Rogers Middle; and Brian Esselman at Affton High School.
“At Affton School District, we believe that all students should have the opportunity to become confident and capable citizens through rigorous, customized learning. It is my privilege to work with such a highly talented staff dedicated to meeting the individual needs of each of our children,” said Dr. Steve Brotherton. “I am inspired by each of our Teachers of the Year, and am confident that Rachel will represent the best of Affton.”
Eaton has been teaching at Affton for seven years and holds a Master of Arts in Education, and is also eMINTS certified. On the application for Teacher of the Year, one of Eaton’s colleagues states, “Not only does Rachel care tremendously for her students, but she also cares for her colleagues. She is always the first person to offer help to anyone in need and will take on any responsibility without hesitation. Rachel goes above and beyond. She not only influences her own class, but many other students and teachers as well.”
Eaton believes that her most significant professional accomplishment has been the relationships she’s built with students, and explains, “They are the reason I teach, and getting to know them is my favorite thing about teaching. Every day I try to give students a voice to share something that’s going on in their lives, be it what they did over the weekend or how they’re feeling that day. Over time, these little moments turn into great relationships between all of us.” She will have the opportunity to compete for the title of Missouri State Teacher of the Year.
Jackson, the Mesnier Primary School Teacher of the Year, has worked in the Affton School District for 29 years and is currently the math interventions teacher.
Guiett, the Rogers Middle School Teacher of the Year, has been teaching in the Affton School District for 13 years and currently teaches English language arts and science to sixth-grade students.
Esselman, the Affton High School Teacher of the Year, teaches United States History, as well as Advanced Placement courses, and has been in the Affton School District for 15 years.