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Ogden Prep instructor finalist for Utah Teacher of the Year honors

By Tim Vandenack - | Aug 17, 2022

Photo supplied, Utah State Board of Education

Teresa Hislop, an eighth grade science teacher at Ogden Preparatory Academy charter school and 2023 Utah Teacher of the Year finalist, is pictured in an undated photo.

OGDEN — Teresa Hislop, an eighth grade science teacher at Ogden Preparatory Academy, puts a focus on hands-on activities.

It helps keep students and classes engaged.

“I love to say learning is doing and doing is fun, which makes learning fun,” she said.

Whatever her formula, it garnered the attention of the Utah State Board of Education, which announced this week that Hislop is one of five finalists for 2023 Utah Teacher of the Year recognition.

“I’m humbled because there are so many fabulous teachers in my building alone. It’s humbling to be picked out,” she said. The 2022 Utah Teacher of the Year — Mark Daniels, a theater instructor at Weber High School — also comes from Weber County, like Hislop.

Hislop is starting her 13th year as a teacher at Ogden Prep, a charter school that opened its doors to students for the 2022-2023 school year on Wednesday. She previously taught at Utah Electronic High School, the first online secondary school in Utah, run by the Utah State Board of Education but now shuttered. Before that, she spent five years as a teacher at Ben Lomond High School.

In keeping students engaged, Hislop is big on field trips, labs and first-hand experience. “Science, it’s all about doing, so it’s learning and fun at the same time,” she said.

According to a Utah State Board of Education statement, a selection committee made of reps from parent and teacher advocacy groups, charter schools and the state board of education picked the finalists. They drew from nominees put forward by school districts and charter schools.

The other four 2023 teacher of the year nominees are:

  • Netanya Elise Maxwell, a third grade teacher at Bonneville Elementary in the Salt Lake City School District;
  • Elizabeth Sampson, a visual arts teacher at Union High School in the Duchesne County School District;
  • Tracy Warenski, a second grade teacher at East Meadows Elementary in the Nebo School District and
  • Chad Warnick, an agriculture, biology, leadership and communications teacher at Delta Technical Center in the Millard School District.

The announcement of the Utah Teacher of the Year will take place at a banquet on Sept. 8. “The 2023 Utah Teacher of the Year will represent Utah in the National Teacher of the Year program in Washington, D.C.,” said the board of education.

In related news, a science teacher from North Park Elementary in Roy, Bradley Spencer, is one of 84 teachers from around the country who has been awarded a classroom stipend from the Society for Science as part of its Advocate Program. He and the others will share $274,000, to be used by the teachers to guide their students in scientific research.

Spencer “believes the best way to learn science is by doing it. You will often find him modeling an experiment with his science class, launching bottle rockets or exploring the wonders of the universe,” said a press release from Society for Science, a nonprofit group that promotes science.


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