Blade & Timber Axe Throwing Sweepstakes: Teachers Edition
We know the school year can be stressful for families and teachers alike. This August, Blade & Timber celebrated teachers in the six communities we serve. After receiving more than 120 incredible nominations, we selected one teacher from each of our communities for a night of stress-relief and axe throwing, on us!
Thanks to all the amazing teachers in our communities. Read more about the winning six inspiring teachers:
Featured: Kelly H. | Kailua Elementary
Nominated by Stephen S: “Kelly is one of the hardest working people I know. She goes above and beyond for her students and other staff members. She is dedicated, generous, and thoughtful in everything she does. She fills out pages of scholarship opportunities for her students and sets up Go Fund Me pages to get what her students need to succeed. Kelly takes time out of her weekends and weeknights to clean beaches with students and tries to teach them the importance of sustainability. She also represented her entire school on a project with the Kokua Foundation and a group of students in grades K-6 and won! However, the actual celebration never happened since COVID hit and the prizes and celebration were never had. She deserves a night out to “relAXE” and let off some steam & axe throwing is the perfect solution!”
Featured: Scott G | Maple Elementary
Nominated by Kelly G: “I happen to be the spouse of this teacher, which means I see first-hand the commitment he makes every day to doing the best for his students. He works to design original worksheets that cater to student needs, invests in new books or supplies to support learning for his students, and consistently invents new ways to make learning more fun, equitable, and impactful. Really, I’m hoping this could be a nomination for his whole team of stellar first-grade teachers from Maple Elementary in Beacon Hill in Seattle. – Along with Scott, this team endlessly innovates, collaborates, and tirelessly works to meet the needs of every one of their students. (I can’t even count the number of times I caught Scott making learning videos for students until early morning hours last year, or meeting after hours with his team.) Ax throwing might just be the best way to release some steam for this dynamic team before the start of the school year – which will especially be needed with this new batch of first graders, some of whom have never been to in-person school before.”
Featured: Eric D | Park Elementary
Nominated by: Kristey D: “Mr. Dodge has been teaching at Park for 24 years and tries each and every day to make sure his students know they are loved. He has put together Christmas parties when the kids wouldn’t get a Christmas. He has gone to birthday parties. He has bought groceries, school supplies, and clothes. He truly gives all he has to each kid in his class every day.”
Featured: Sue B. | Grandview School District
Nominated by Jennifer B: “This teacher is a retired teacher, never retired, who taught for over 35 years to middle schoolers. She has continued to teach Elementary school kids during her retirement. The past several years she has taken long term substitute positions for various teachers. She has gone to extremes to dress up for younger children during thanksgiving to make learning about pilgrims fun for younger kids. This past 2020 year during the pandemic she took on a long term substitute teaching job to teach kindergartners virtually (any age is a challenge to teach on computer, but kindergarten at that, first year, during a pandemic is especially a challenge. Just not a challenge for Ms. Burton). She is one teacher who will forever impact those she teaches and does it with such grace. She has impacted so many children from kindergarten and up to 8th grade.”
Featured: Martrez T. | Oak Park High School
Nominated by Kasey A: “I’m nominating Martrez because he is such a dedicated special education teacher to his students. He is passionate about teaching and continuous education. He’s currently going to grad school to get his Masters in Education while teaching full-time. In addition, he dedicates his time before and after school as a high school cheerleading coach. He commits to practices, games, and competitions, often giving up weekends and free-time to support his team! He also volunteers to help at school events and in extracurricular activities when asked! Martrez deserves some “me-time” and Blade and Timber would be a perfect venue to unwind and enjoy some time off the clock!”
From Trez: Hello everyone, my name is Martrez Taylor. I am 33 years old and I have been in education for 7 years. This will be my 4th year teaching at Oak Park High School in the North Kansas City School District. During my time at Oak Park I have taught in Special Education. I co-teach in American Government and a variety of English courses. When I’m not teaching you can catch me at one of the athletic games coaching the Oak Park cheer squad. Teaching and coaching have been a passion of mine for as long as I can remember. One of the best things as an educator and coach is seeing my students/athletes progress. I look forward to teaching this year and can’t wait to continue to make memories with my OPHS Family. During my spare time away from school and coaching I really enjoy traveling. This summer I was able to take a few trips to Chicago & North Carolina. I grew up in Chicago and am a die-hard Chicago sports fan. I still have a lot of love for the Chiefs and Royals, but Chicago will always be my first love. I have a few other hobbies that take up my time during the summer and some that I picked up during quarantine. Some of my hobbies include hiking, kayaking, biking, and reading. I recently developed an interest in painting last spring while teaching from home.
Featured: Emily C. | Brentwood Middle School
Nominated by Dana O: “I have known Emily for 2 years now and she’s one of my best friends. This past year has been so tough, she has a heart of gold and works with 7th grad Special Ed. Her principal left the last month of last year as well as her co-teacher over the summer. They have left her with no co-teacher for the start of the school year until they can fill the spot in September. I think she would feel so loved and seen to be recognized in a way like this and to help release the stress. She has been working around the clock to fill the roll of what 2 teachers would be doing on top of having a whole new roster of kids to learn as well as their IEP’s.”