Josh Sanders was named Educator of the Year for Big Horn County School District No. 2 by the Lovell Area Chamber of Commerce at the group’s annual banquet on Saturday night. Sanders teaches world history and civics at Lovell High School.
Lovell High School Principal Scott O’Tremba nominated Sanders based on his professionalism in dealing with others, his willingness to accept responsibilities, and his commitment to his students, his profession, to learning and for the high expectations he sets for himself and his students.
O’Tremba talked about why he nominated Sanders prior to presenting the award.
“He sets the bar for our staff when it comes to project based learning,” said O’Tremba. “He is innovative and creative in all of his lessons and he differentiates, giving his students team experiences such as mock trials and creating their own countries, just to name two of his many outstanding learning experiences. He is a dedicated professional who has an amazing way with students, giving them what is always a safe and orderly environment. His classroom has wonderful social studies artifacts throughout his room, which he is always improving on. He also brings in guest speakers from the community who bring historical artifacts.”
Although Sanders is one of the more popular teachers with the students, his classes are considered to be some of the most challenging for students.
“His students know his classes have the reputation of being some of the most difficult at LHS, but they never complain and always tell me and others how much they love his classes and how much they love social studies and economics,” said O’Tremba.
Just as Sanders was inspired by his father and other good teachers like Mike Higgins (District One Outstanding Educator), he has inspired others in his teaching career.
“I receive feedback that he is one of the teachers that have inspired students to go into education as a future profession or to seek a degree in the field of the social sciences,” said O’Tremba.
O’Tremba is also impressed with how well Sanders works with other staff. He cited the fact that Sanders recently set a goal for himself to go out of his way to praise and encourage other staff members through thank you notes.
“I was very impressed that he initiated this just out of a desire to encourage other staff,” said O’Tremba.
Sanders has shown his dedication to his students by taking on many other responsibilities outside of the classroom.
“He coaches three sports –boys basketball (middle school), indoor track and outdoor track — and at one time was also our student council sponsor,” said O’Tremba. “He also sponsors a class each year. He and his brother (Caleb) initiated a trip for students to enhance their education. He has taken students to Washington D.C. and is currently organizing a trip to Europe.”
O’Tremba also noted that Sanders was one of the first teachers to incorporate the use of iPads in the classroom.
“He has done an outstanding job enhancing his curriculum with iPads, the Internet for civics voting experiences and other online social studies activities.”
By Patti Carpenter