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Lorraine Perez, AP and Pre-AP biology teacher at Russellville High School stands at the door to her classroom. Perez recently received recognition from the University of North Alabama as a Distinguished Teacher Mentor.

RHS teacher earns recognition from UNA

The job of a teacher is multifaceted, and one of the roles a teacher fills is serving as mentor to students – and, in the case of Lorraine Perez, to student teachers. Her previous work with student teachers through the University of North Alabama has earned her recognition as a Distinguished Teacher Mentor through UNA’s secondary education department.

“I didn’t even know anything like this existed until I received the email from the university,” Perez said.

According to the email Perez received, only a small group of teachers receive this recognition that is chosen based on “excellence in teaching and leading and mentorship and service to the profession and UNA’s program.”

A member of UNA’s secondary education faculty has to nominate a teacher to be recognized. They choose these nominees based on input from student teacher surveys.

“It’s a lot of work when you have a student teacher, but if you want to do it well, you have to spend time with them and make sure they get the proper experience they need,” Perez said.

Being a Distinguished Teacher Mentor gives Perez the opportunity to provide input to the secondary education department at UNA, serve on an advisory board and support the courses in the program. Perez said she is more than happy to serve on the advisory board.

“I’m actually in the field, and I think they need people like that to help them determine the best ways to help the student teachers with their education,” Perez said.

There will be a formal recognition held Feb. 6, 2018.

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