Myla Liljemark, who teaches social studies at Seward Middle School, was among seven Kenai Peninsula Borough teachers honored May 1st as 2013 BP Teachers of Excellence. The annual BP awards event was held at the Soldotna Senior Center, and Janet Weiss, President of BP in Alaska, presented the awards with Dr. Steve Atwater, KPBSD superintendent. Other teachers honored included Donna Austin, Chapman Elementary School (Anchor Point), Sue Biggs, Redoubt Elementary School (Soldotna), Lyn Maslow, West Homer Elementary School, Renee Merkes, Soldotna High School, Rob Sparks, Skyview High School (Soldotna), and Greg Zorbas, Kenai Central High School.
Rob Sparks, Skyview High School, was named the 2013 Kenai Peninsula BP Teacher of the Year.
“Through promoting self-awareness, student success, and international mindedness, students in Mrs. Liljemark’s class are provided a student-centered learning environment where they are the drivers of their education, KPBSD communications director writes Pegge Erkeneff in a district release. “Lilejemark believes the internationally-minded focus is key to helping students see themes of social studies played out around the world. She often brings in guest speakers from organizations such as the local historical society, National Park Service, or a Native tribe to bring real-life perspective to what’s being studied.”
“I am inspired when my students critically question history, current events, and perspectives of people they encounter in their everyday lives. It is through these questions that evidence of thought, wonder, and independent thinking are exposed,” Lilejemark said.
“A goal that I have for my class, is to nurture globally competent students. These are students that understand the historic and contemporary relationships between regions, countries, and peoples of the world. These are students that understand and tolerate others within a world where international connections are the norm. Through global competency, I hope students develop an understanding of who they are as an individual, and the role they play within their society and the world.” – Myla Liljemark
“My recent certificate in International Baccalaureate plays an important role in how I scaffold and plan for my class. It really is the backbone to how I structure learning in my classroom.”
“Myla Liljemark is deserving of this recognition,” said Jason Bickling, Seward Middle School Principal. “This last year she was International Baccalaureate Certified for Social Studies. She constantly searches for ways to better engage students into what is going on in the world and to understand their part in it.” “Students enjoy the minds, hands, and eyes-on activities that are a staple in her classroom. She is self-critical and reflective of her lessons and how they can be improved–then implements those changes. She takes risks regularly in her teaching and pushes the envelope in her pursuit of student engagement and learning. On top of social studies, she also teaches health, yearbook, and an enrichment history day course. She is an asset to Seward Middle School and enriches student lives on a daily basis.”
“The annual BP Teacher of Excellence Award is our chance to stop and recognize a few of our district’s excellent teachers,” said Dr. Steve Atwater, superintendent. “I know that each of the seven teachers is an excellent representation of our staff as a whole.”