Hard work pays off for students in Annette Ellis’ classroom

Like most good teachers, the teachers who are named “teacher of year” are modest when it comes to taking the credit for their many accomplishments. Annette Ellis is no exception, deferring credit to her hardworking students.

Ellis, a math teacher at Lovell Middle School, was named teacher of the year for Big Horn County School District No. 2. Ellis said she was surprised to hear she was being honored and quickly gave credit to all of the teachers in the district, stating that they all contribute and make a difference to a student’s progress.

Annette Ellis
Annette Ellis

In a letter of recommendation, LMS Principal Doug Hazen noted that Ellis’ strengths were “myriad.”

“She has strong core values and always puts others, specifically students, first when making decisions,” he wrote. “Her passion for students and professionalism with parents and colleagues are qualities I greatly admire and consider essential in education. Annette makes the difficult job of teaching young adults look easy.”

He noted how student test scores in mathematics skyrocket during the time they attend her seventh and eighth grade classes, noting that her students are rated among the top achievers in the state year after year.

“She’s one of the hardest working teachers I know,” said Hazen. “She’s here sometimes as early as 5 a.m and leaves as late as 5 p.m.  Only her husband knows how hard she works.”

Ellis is in her 10th year of teaching and has spent her entire career in District Two.

“She is extremely dedicated to her students and to the district,” said Hazen.

Ellis teaches many higher math classes. She said she was always an average math student herself, which is hard to imagine considering the success of her students.

“She does a phenomenal job of challenging her students,” said Hazen, “while at the same time addressing their needs. She is the driving force behind our continuous improvement plan. She has very high standards and expectations and holds her students accountable.”

Hazen said Ellis “epitomizes” the term educator, making “everyone in the school raise their level of expectations.”

By Patti Carpenter