Joe Oakes, a Borden High School teacher, and the late Connie Mull, who was a Henryville Elementary teacher, were recognized as Teachers of the Year and Maranda Boggess of Henryville Elementary was recognized as classified Employee of the Year at a May 11 banquet.
It was the first time for the newly-formed Borden-Henryville School Corporation, which began in July 2020, to bestow honors on its teachers and employees.
Connie Mull, who passed away in January, had been with the district since 1995.
“How do you explain what Connie Mull has achieved and how her love for students and learning will transcend time?” asked Christy Nunn, Henryville Elementary principal. “One of the first written pieces from an administrator described Mrs. Mull’s teaching career: ‘Connie has made a wonderful addition to the Henryville program. She advocates for all children and interacts positively with them. She challenges them while assuring their success. She is creative and energetic in her individual and group instruction.’”
“Connie never swayed from that belief. Her classroom was a magical place and how lucky that so many children had the opportunity to experience her passion for education.
“Connie was serious about her profession. She was serious about moving students from below level to at-level and then beyond grade level in reading and math.
“As serious as Mrs. Mull was about education, Connie made her seriousness a lot of fun. She said things like, ‘kiss your brain, firsties’ and on dress-up days, you could count on Mrs. Mull to bring the fun! Seeing her dress as her 100-year-old self on the 100th day of school, her superhero, holiday, and countless other costumes always brought smiles and giggles from her class and everyone at HES.
“In your honor Connie Mull, we will do our best to always stay humble and kind.
“Mrs. Mull made a difference everyday during her life for so many students. She will be missed by so many for a very long time.”
Joe Oakes, who moved to Borden from another district in 2018, teaches chemistry, physics, finite math, pre-calculus and AP Calculus.
“Every student should be celebrated for their success no matter if it is getting an A on an exam or if it is getting a 60% on an exam,” he said. “Every student starts out with different abilities which means we should adjust our goals accordingly. I love my job, and I strive to make sure my students see that through our daily interactions.”
“Mr. Oakes has been a great addition to our school over the last few years,” said Principal Charlie Gardner. “He is a student-first teacher who always has their best interest in mind. He has a special ability to bring out the best in everyone around him.
“Mr. Oakes has been instrumental to the success of our new corporation including his contributions to the BHSC virtual program and back-on-track plan. Additionally, Mr. Oakes serves as a teacher leader in several capacities, including e-learning guidance and expectations, dual credit courses, and technology. BHS can always count on Mr. Oakes to act as a frontrunner with technological advances in his classroom.
“He utilizes a flipped classroom model with the Explain Everything act to make sure his students have multiple chances to master difficult content and ensure their success. He has increased AP exam scores, and he is tenacious in his pursuit for excellence. He never accepts less than the best from his students. Mr. Oakes is an asset to BHSC.”
“Maranda was chosen as Henryville Elementary’s classified employee-of-the-year due to her dedication and her consistently going above and beyond her job, especially this year of social distancing, masking up, contact tracing and quarantines” said Principal Christy Nunn.
“We have selfishly used Maranda to talk us through the exposures, the dates for quarantine and to explain the difference between a contact and a close contact, again and again…. and again.
“Maranda has tirelessly called and checked on students and parents. She has made countless close contact calls giving parents the news of quarantine, something that no one wanted to hear in a year that was already stressful for so many people.
“Maranda has supported our staff with her knowledge to help them maintain a safe environment in their classrooms. Maranda has also supported our sports teams and coaches, teaching us cleaning procedures to keep our athletes safe.
“Maranda is an asset to our school every year, seeing students who bumped their knees to students and staff who are having a medical emergency. This year has especially shown us how lucky we are to have Mrs. Boggess as a member of our school family.”
Boggess is a registered nurse and holds a Bachelor’s in nursing; she started with the district in 2016.