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Teachers, Bus Driver Praised for Outstanding Work

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Teachers, Bus Driver Praised for Outstanding Work
Posted on 03/19/2015
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Two teachers and a bus driver were recently recognized for their outstanding work by the Portland Board of Public Education and School Superintendent Emmanuel Caulk.

Honored were Bruce Lane, a bus driver for Reiche School; Tyler Jellison, an ESOL teacher at Lyman Moore Middle School; and Marilyn Melton, a teacher at East End Community School.

Caulk said they are “representative of the fine staff we have here at the Portland Public Schools.”

Jellison was recognized for putting together a video of high school students in the Multilingual Center’s Make IT Happen! Program to talk  about what ACCESS testing means, why students should take the test seriously, and how the test relates to their identity as language learners.

The video was accompanied by a user's guide for conducting conversations around language, culture and identity. The video was produced for use not just at Lyman Moore Middle School, but for other Portland schools as well.

Caulk praised Jellison for “the competence, passion, and creative work that (he) has done to accelerate academic learning of ELL's at Lyman Moore, as well as their meaningful and successful integration in the school's culture.”

A Lyman Moore literacy teacher said the video has really made a difference. “As a result of the video, the student-led/ facilitation of group work, the participation of teachers across content, the testing environment and the conversations to follow among students and staff (in classrooms, hallways and faculty meetings), our school culture has completely shifted here at Moore. The mountain has not only been moved, but totally altered, and we have Tyler to thank,” the  teacher said.

Lane, the bus driver who was honored, is one of the district’s newest drivers. “Mr. Lane has been with the Portland Public Schools just under a year, but has already made a lasting impression,” Superintendent Caulk said. “Bruce is kind and patient with all of the students, staff and parents at Reiche School. He goes above and beyond to make sure all of the students he transports make it home safely. He treats the students with respect and has high expectations for their behavior. His interactions with our staff and parents are warm and friendly, yet always professional. He communicates clearly, and always goes the extra mile – often literally. Dismissal can be stressful for both staff and students, but knowing that Bruce is driving gives everyone peace of mind.”

Lane said, “I feel my job is all about customer service.” He thanked Kevin Whittemore, assistant transportation director, for “leading the way” to show staff how to best serve the public.

Melton, the other teacher who was recognized, was praised for her work with the Glee Club, a signature student activity for East End Community School since its inception.

“She has been influential in developing the talents of the students in Glee and has helped built confidence in them along with their passion to sing and express their joy.  This has helped many students identify a ‘pathway towards their dreams’ of pursuing the performing arts,” Caulk said.

“Glee provides an outlet for children from all backgrounds to come together and find common ground through song. It reaches students through an alternate path not in the classroom. Children are given the chance to sing the songs they love and their performances reflect a level of energy and enthusiasm that radiates from the children. Mrs. Melton teaches them the value of hard work by showing them with each performance that their hard work moves the audience,” Caulk said. “The diversity of children coming together to celebrate the power of their own voices is a shared experience by all who attend their performances. Marilyn has been not only influential but instrumental in making this happen for East End Community School students.”