Green Canyon Teacher of the Year Mariah Checketts stands out with her dedication to the Pack
Congratulations to Green Canyon Teacher of the Year, Mariah Checketts! In only her first year of teaching at Green Canyon, Checketts has already established rapport with her students and colleagues. Her dedication to the Green Canyon Pack is exemplified by her care and attention to her students, along with her personal desire to learn and grow.
Checketts teaches Spanish 2, the Freshmen orientation class (Wolf Pack Academy), and Biology for the English as a Second Language (ESL) class. She is also a part of the ESL team and works with ESL students in her Tutorial class, helping them with any subject they need. She graduated from Utah State University with a degree in Health and Spanish Education and later got her biology endorsement. She also earned her master's of administration from USU. After teaching in Colorado and Wyoming, Checketts has found her place in CCSD.
Checkett's philosophy as a teacher is to hold her students to high expectations while providing enough safeguards so that they can feel successful. She said that the most significant "win" for her is when students go from failing and having attendance problems to getting A's and feeling like that they can do school on their own. She believes that every student can learn; they just need to believe in themselves to achieve success. She tells her students, "here are the expectations, and guess what, you're not going to fail. But I need you to work hard and I'm here to help you."
Despite growing up in a bilingual Spanish and English family, Checketts did not love her Spanish classes growing up. Even though she could fluently communicate with her family, she struggled with feeling successful in her Spanish classes at school. It wasn't until later that she realized that not only did she love Spanish, but she could help students feel that learning a second language is enjoyable. "I am not here to correct my students," Checketts explained, "I am here to help them and show them that it is fun."
Green Canyon principal Dave Swenson is impressed with Checkett's dedication to her students and her ability to always help out when needed. "Mariah constantly puts forth a tremendous amount of effort for our students," he explained, "especially those who are struggling or disadvantaged. Often you will find Mariah after school or on Saturdays working with students at Green Canyon. She not only teaches students academic skills but also consistent life skills they so desperately need. She does not give up, even on the most challenging students."
Checketts loves being a part of the Green Canyon team. Though she is honored to have received this award, she emphasizes that she is a member of a fantastic Pack. "I know that I couldn't do it by myself," Checketts concluded. "I am always getting help from other teachers. Everyone here cares about the kids. We're a pack and we're in it together. I just love to be here."