Local teacher named one of 12 finalists for PA Teacher of the Year Award
MUNCY – Recently Kindra Brelsford of Muncy was named one of 12 finalists for the 2012 Teacher of the Year Award. She was nominated by her high school principal, Dr. Matthew Reitz from Loyalsock High School where she teaches biology and human physiology. According to Dr. Reitz her commitment and passion earned her the nomination. “She works hard to get results,” he said.
The PA Teacher of the Year Award looks for nominees who have the respect and admiration of students, parents and colleagues. They are lifelong learners and play an active role in their school and community.
“Growing up, I always wanted to be a teacher,” Brelsford exclaimed, as she would always enjoy playing school and helping her younger sister in science. She thought she was going to start out teaching calculus but became inspired by Dr. Miller, a professor at Millersville University who encouraged her to go on to science. “He told me I could do more,” she replied.
In order to become eligible for the award, initially Brelsford had to submit a resume with a letter of reference from her principal, a co-worker and a parent. “Once the nomination was made, I had to apply in several stages,” she said. She had to send in her personal biography explaining why she wanted to become a teacher. This part of the process brought her to the semi-finalists. At this point she was 1 in 30 for the award.
Next she had to submit three essays on the philosophy of education. “I had to discuss issues on public education and how to address them and improve the teaching profession,” she added. In April she discovered she was one in 12 finalists. “It’s been a real challenge to promote myself.”
In early June, Brelsford entered a DVD demonstrating her teaching methods in the classroom. She chose a lesson on organ donors, engaging the students with hands-on activities. The DVD will go before a selection committee this week, and winners will be announced in October. “I am going to take a deep breath and let things happen,” she said. If she wins she will automatically be a candidate for the National Teacher of the Year award.
It was not always easy for Kindra Brelsford. She did have obstacles along the way. She lost a good chunk of time after a snowmobile accident at World’s End State Park in February 2006. Her snowmobile slid out of control and hit an ice rock, hard. She dislocated her shoulder, lacerated her kidney and spleen and basically couldn’t move for several weeks. Fortunately her family and husband, Jamie came to the rescue as caretakers for their 2 young daughters. “With a splint on my shoulder and sitting in my chair, I read a lot of books and worked with the substitute teacher grading my students’ work. I was still teaching behind the scenes.” She lost ten weeks that second semester.
When she is not busy teaching biology during the school year, Kindra is quite active in the Muncy community coaching swimming and soccer. She also assists her husband who is volunteer Fire Chief of Muncy Township and supports him with fundraisers. She is President of the Tri-Town Swim Team for 63 registered swimmers. June 13 was the official start at the Muncy Pool for the swim team. Brelsford also coaches AYSO Soccer team for Muncy which just ended June 3rd.
And as for the award, she says she is excited just to be part of the forum in October and receive the recognition.