This year, four teachers are nominated for Teacher of the Year at Duncanville High school. While the title has yet to be awarded,  interviews were conducted among each nominee so that the community could get to know a little more about them. 

Jen Tahaney

Mrs. Jen Tahaney

Q: How do you feel being nominated?

A: I feel very honored being nominated because it’s my peers who nominated me, so it’s all of the other teachers. It’s really an accomplishment here when there’s so many teachers here to begin with- it’s really nice.

Q: What’s your favorite part about doing your job?

A: The favorite part about doing my job is helping the kids. I love doing that everyday.  They come in and they have questions, and I get to be the one who helps them answer them.

Q: How did you get started with a career as a librarian?

A: I started off actually as a first grade teacher, and my principal came to me at that point in time and said that they would have a library position open the following year and that she would really like to see me in the library. So that is really where it started because to be honest I thought I was going to be a first grade teacher for the rest of my life. So I went into the elementary library and then when the librarians here retired, I came up to the high school; I got to graduate.

Q: And are you glad you made that transition?

A: You know what, I am. I love being in the library, and I love being able to see so many students. As a classroom teacher you only see so many students in one day, but as a librarian you get to see the whole school, so it’s really nice to have that big of range.

Q: Let’s say you had to be nominated for a different award of any type, what would you want to be nominated for?

A: I think I’d want to be nominated for an award like Most Helpful because I think that is what my job is- it’s to be helpful.

Blanca Patlin

Ms. Blanca Patlin

Q: How do you feel being nominated for this award?

A: I’m very humbled and honored of course.  We have great teachers here at Duncanville High School, so to be among them is a huge honor.

Q: What’s your favorite part about your job?

A: The kids. I love the kids, they’re great. It’s different everyday, different issues everyday, different laughter everyday, so it’s always new and it’s great.

Q: And how did you get started in the library?

A: I started off as a teacher, and then I went back and got my Masters in Information Science and became an elementary librarian. Then applied for the high school job, and here I am, I’ve grown up.

Q: So are you glad that you took those steps?

A: Oh my gosh yes. I’ve loved it; I don’t regret it a bit. I was kind of scared at first, I never thought I’d ever want to work with teenagers, but I really, really like it. I’m glad I had 20 years of elementary experience because I think it’s helped me here. I love this job.

Q:  If you could be nominated for any other award in the entire world, whether it be an Oscar or a Grammy, what would you want to be nominated for?

A: I would like to be best chef because I love to cook, not that I can cook, but I would like to be that good enough to wear I could have the Grand Chef Award or something like that.

Kimberly Baker

Ms. Kimberly Baker

Q: How do you feel about being nominated?

A: I feel very and extremely honored. I don’t feel quite worthy of it yet.

Q: What got you to start teaching?

A: I didn’t want to teach originally. It was what everyone in my family did, but I realized that everything I had done kind of led me in that direction. I always wanted to work with kids; it was a calling. Finally I decided it was something I really needed to do and really enjoyed.

Q: And what is your favorite part about it?

A: The kids; making the relationships with the kids.

Q: If you could be nominated for any award in the world, what would you want it to be?

A: This would be it. Being nominated for what I really love to do I think is something that I really want to be nominated for, and it’s already happened.

Diane Williams

Ms. Diane Williams

Q: How do you feel about being nominated?

A: I feel very honored.

Q: What’s your favorite part about teaching?

A: The kids. They make it a joy to come to work, it’s always something new each day.

Q: How did you start teaching?

A: I just always wanted to teach. I don’t know, I just kind of felt this was what I was called to do. I just like teaching and feeling like I’m making a difference in the students’ lives.

Q: Let’s say you had to be nominated for some award for any reason in the whole world, what would you want to be nominated for?

A: Teacher of the year.

Q: So do you have any personal hobbies that you do that your students and peers might not know about you?

A: I’m involved in my church. I’m on the praise team and several choirs, and I also praise dance; I’m heavily involved in my church.

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