DPMS Teacher of the Year: Christina Stenten
Occasionally, we cross paths with an extraordinary individual and feel fortunate to have spent time
with a great person. When we have the good fortune of being close to a person of this caliber our lives are enriched forever. Ms. Stenten, our Draper Park Middle School Teacher of the Year, is one of these extraordinary people.
Ms. Stenten is a rare find indeed. She represents the very best in our profession and excels as a naturally gifted educator. She is a student-centered teacher who cares deeply about the success of all her students. She enjoys the presence, the temperament, the work ethic, and also the caring and nurturing disposition required of top educators.
Ms. Stenten’s high academic expectations of her students along with her strong content knowledge
and skillful teaching allow her classes to enjoy a much deeper than average exploration of science. In fact, 86% of her students were proficient on the end-of-year SAGE test last year. Those who administer SAGE know that this is a phenomenal achievement realized by only an elite few.
Ms. Stenten is the first to lead out and implement research-based teaching practices that are proven to support student learning. Her student-centered approach to instructional design, her clear explicit teaching, and her data-driven small group instruction with struggling learners has resulted in many grateful students and parents over the years.
Ms. Stenten leads by example. She is genuine and kind in the use of her words and gentle in her approach in influencing others. She offers student-centered solutions to complex problems accompanied by strong rationale and common sense. Ms. Stenten is the type of teacher who lifts others through collaboration, always acknowledging the important contributions of her colleagues. She has keen instincts for leadership and uses exceptional skill in working with others to build consensus to achieve a common goal.
Aside from her many professional qualities, Ms. Stenten possesses many of the personal qualities we all cherish in our friends. She is quick to smile, quick to laugh, quick to lift others, quick to say yes when asked to help, quick to promote her colleagues, and always quick to find the good in others.
Above all else, Ms. Stenten exemplifies a rare type of devotion to her students. She brings out the best in her students and helps them realize their full potential. She has created a classroom environment where students feel safe to take risks and learn from their mistakes. Her students are able to stretch and grow and participate without the worry of being judged. Her students know that they can always count on their teacher for support. Ms. Stenten is one who deserves the title “teacher” and she wears it well.