Lynn Thomason, Latin teacher at Lincoln High School, was announced Monday, March 4, 2019 as the 2019 Dr. John W. Harris Teacher of the Year. Ms. Thomason is currently in her 12th year as a teacher with the Sioux Falls School District and has been teaching at Lincoln for all of that time.
The Sioux Falls School District and Vern Eide Motorcars co-sponsor the annual Teacher of the Year award and made the announcement Monday night. Vern Eide Motorcars has been providing a financial award for the winner annually since 1989. Michael Larsen, Director of Human Resources at Vern Eide, generously presented Ms. Thomason with a check for $4,000.
Criteria for selection of the Teacher of the Year include:
• Commitment to lifelong learning
• Effectiveness in meeting students' needs
• Impact on student achievement
• Effectiveness of home-school cooperation
• Community involvement to promote school-community relations
Ms. Thomason has been a finalist for Teacher of the Year four times since 2012. In their combined four letters of nomination, her students this year say, “She represents everything that a teacher should, teaching everyday with an enormous amount of passion and compassion for each and every one of her students. During independent work time, she goes around, desk to desk, making sure everyone one is succeeding. After the bell rings, Ms. Thomason stays as long as her students need if they are seeking extra help. Ms. Thomason’s drive to help students thrive outside of the classroom is what sets her apart from the rest. Ms. Thomason’s ability to make the classroom a fun place to learn is truly amazing. She has inspired me to become a better student and a better person. Ms. Thomason doesn’t care this much just because it’s simply her job. She commits to these students because they are her life. You can tell that in each correction mark, in each explanation, in each smile that she gives you when you approach her desk, she loves each and every one of her students and is invested in helping them reach their full potential. Ms. Thomason was always willing to do whatever she could to support you. She embodies fully a teacher who deserves the Dr. John W. Harris 2019 Teacher of the Year.”
There were 79 nominees for Teacher of the Year in 2019, the 31st year of the program. A full list of nominees can be found here.
The other three 2019 finalists were: George Hawkins, New Tech High – History and Government; Jeremy Iversen, Edison Middle School – Social Studies; and Meghan Wounded Head, Washington High School – English.