Dr Berrett, the 2011 San Juan School District Teacher of the Year, is renowned for success with pre-engineering students.
Leigh VandenAkker, a social studies teacher at East High School in Salt Lake City, is Utah’s 2012 Teacher of Year. VandenAkker was awarded $10,000 and will compete with winners from other states in a national competition.
VandenAkker was selected by a state committee made up of representatives from the Utah State Office of Education, principals, superintendents, Utah PTA, Utah Education Association and last year’s winner, Highland Elementary School kindergarten teacher Gay Beck.
Dr. Berrett was teaching at Brigham Young University several years ago but felt the desire to teach at the high school level, prompting a move to Blanding. His pre-engineering program has enjoyed tremendous success, with a nationally-recognized robotics program at its core. Berrett receives $4,000.
Several San Juan School District educators have been honored by the state for efforts in the classroom. They include Mark Christiansen, who was a runner up two years ago. State winners have included Kim Schaefer of Whitehorse High School, and Roberta Suttlemyre and Larry Bailey, both of Monticello High School.