Homer Alaska - News

Story last updated at 6:13 PM on Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Three Homer teachers honored for excellence

By McKibben Jackinsky
Staff Writer


Melissa Cloud,


Sean Campbell


Shellie Worsfold

Three Homer teachers are among the four chosen as BP Teachers of Excellence for the Kenai Peninsula. The teachers will be honored at the 17th annual BP Teachers of Excellence awards event to be held at the Peninsula Conference Center in Soldotna at 6 p.m. May 3. Being recognized from Homer are:

• Sean Campbell, Homer High School;

• Melissa Cloud, West Homer Elementary School; and

• Shellie Worsfold, West Homer Elementary School.

Also being recognized is Patrick Nolden, who teaches at Soldotna High School.

In a press release issued by the BP Teachers of Excellence program, Campbell, an English literature and language arts teacher at Homer High School, was noted for encouraging interaction between his students and the community. A read-a-thon held by his AP literature class raised funds to support the education of girls in India. His class outreach trips offer students opportunities to learn about career opportunities.

"The recognition of Mr. Campbell as a teacher of excellence publicly acknowledges what the students at Homer High have known for years — he provides academic rigor and relevance in a positive environment that engages and inspires all students to take ownership of their learning," said Allan Gee, HHS principal.

Cloud, who teaches fourth grade, was noted for offering her students hands-on learning experience. As an example, students in her classroom learned about public speaking by telling stories to students in kindergarten and first grade.

"Melissa Cloud works very hard to meet the needs of all students. She employs place-based outdoor education and hands-on learning as a way of engaging students and enriching their education to foster a lifelong love of learning and to empower students to become responsible for their own learning," said Ray Marshall, WHES principal. "Additionally, Mrs. Cloud has worked at the building, district and state level to support educators in their efforts toward improving in the craft of teaching."

Also a fourth-grade teacher at West Homer, Worsfold views parent involvement as critical to her classroom success. She believes outdoor education and hands-on experience not only make the most of lessons, but also help build leadership skills.

"Shellie Worsfold is a highly motivated and caring teacher who possesses a large repertoire of educational skills and diverse educational strategies. She has a high commitment to continually refining instructional strategies and helping to maximize students' academic growth," said Marshall.

"Shellie has a sound knowledge of constructivist learning, hands-on learning, and differentiating instruction to meet the needs of every individual student in her classroom. She has worked very hard to find a fit between curriculum and student abilities. Shellie creates and adapts high-interest lessons that tap into the natural curiosity of her students, and possesses the ability to successfully integrate many disciplines into smooth, cohesive lessons and units."

Nolden teaches biology and health, using digital notebooks complete with labs and YouTube videos to help students understand challenging lessons. In his health classes, he draws upon the expertise of guest speakers from the local police department, as well as experts on bullying. In addition to teaching, Nolden coaches hockey and track at Soldotna High.

BP's Teachers of Excellence program recognizes teachers from across the state that are dedicated to teaching and are inspirational to their students. The program is open to all Alaska school districts and attracted more than 1,400 nominations statewide.

Each of the teachers of excellence receives a $500 gift card and an award certificate. The teacher's school also receives a matching $500. One Kenai Peninsula teacher will be chosen as BP's Kenai Peninsula Teacher of the Year, and will receive a $1,500 scholarship for continuing education and a bronze sculpture by Alaska artist Mary Regat.

"BP is proud to recognize these Alaska educators, who invest their time and talents in their students," said Phil Cochrane, vice president of external affairs, BP Exploration (Alaska).

"These are the teachers who will make a lasting impact on the next generation of Alaskans and make our communities better places to live and raise our families."

McKibben Jackinsky can be reached at mckibben. jackinsky@homernews.com.