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Big Horn County School District No. 1 George named educator of the year

Basin Republican Rustler of Basin, Wyoming

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For creating a classroom environment where every student can succeed, for being consistent, fair and always encouraging his students, Burlington High School teacher Gerald George was named Big Horn County School District No. 1 Educator of the Year by the Lovell Area Chamber of Commerce.

Burlington High School Principal Mathew Davidson presented the award to George at the annual Lovell Area Chamber of Commerce awards banquet held at the Lovell Community Center on Friday, March 27.

George has taught history, social studies and psychology in Burlington since 1992. He also teaches some college level classes in partnership with Northwest College. He is the middle school track coach.

Davidson commented on his consistency. "One thing that has impressed me the most in those years is that Jerry has never gotten caught up in all the swings in education," said Davidson. "It seems we go from one extreme to another at times, but he has been a constant through the years. "He teaches kids first and he's about kids. I think that the young people sense that he appreciates them as individuals. He sees good in them and he cares about them well beyond the classroom. He cares about them beyond the grades they get and now they perform on tests.

"Through all the accountability, assessments and scores he remembers we are producing citizens, voters, moms and dads and community members. That's been his top focus through the years and I think he's left deep impressions on many young people. He's been a blessing to them in ways that are hard to measure and certainly are hard to test." George grew up on a dairy farm in the Heart Mountain area in a home made from an old barracks building recycled from the nearby relocation camp. He graduated from Cody High School and received his degree in secondary education from the University of Wyoming.

George is known to put in extra hours after school, on weekends and in the summer. He also organizes trips to Washington, DC, so his students can see the world beyond their small rural town. "He makes sure funds are raised so that every student has the opportunity to go and spend 10 days in the nation's capital," said Davidson. "He does everything, including all the planning, and even acts as tour guide. He even tried to drive the bus but they wouldn't let him do that. "It's a marvelous experience and lots of those students have come back and said it's been the highlight of their time at Burlington High School."

Davidson said one of George's greatest accomplishments is that he's a great dad, husband and role model. "Being a good dad has been number one in his life, along with being a good husband," Davidson said. "He has taught through the most powerful teacher of all, which is by example. He is a great role model for our young people to look up to and to see how we ought to be. He sets an example how we should treat each other and what it means to be a good citizen."

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Original Publication Date: April 9, 2015

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