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Feather is Teacher of the Year in Worland

The Lovell Chronicle of Lovell, Wyoming

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A Lovell native teaching in Worland has earned Teacher of the Year honors in Washakie County School District No. 1.

Lori Feather, daughter of longtime former Lovell residents Bob and Carol Negro, now of Sheridan, and sister of Mitch Negro of Lovell, received the 2015 award recently. A teacher for more than 35 years, Feather is a first grade teacher at South Side Elementary School in Worland.

"Students in the early elementary years start off young and impressionable," Feather told Northern Wyoming Daily News reporter Taylor Maya in a recent interview. "A teacher needs to teach and work with these young students with sensitivity and genuine interest."

Feather said teaching has changed over the years.

"There have been many changes in public education since I first started my teaching career," she told the Daily News. "Programs are adopted and then used for a short time before being dropped. Paperwork for teachers has increased due to accountability and liability; the job of teaching and learning has taken a back seat due to the pressure of test scores. There is much change — fast and often." She said test scores shouldn't be the ultimate goal of the teaching profession.

"We need to be careful about the message we are giving to our students and educators concerning the importance of test scores," she said. "We need to teach students to become productive members of society. A good work ethic and the ability to interact within society are even more valuable than high test scores in the working world.

"We must not lose sight of these essential skills as we prepare students to live, work and contribute to the society we live in."

Feather said she is a strong believer in communication.

"Parents love to hear how their child is doing in school," she told the Daily News. "I make it a habit to let the parent know when their child is doing well as opposed to only when there are problems. At the beginning of each new school year

I call each student and talk to them about school and ask if they have questions. This creates a bond before the first day of school."

Feather is a 1976 graduate of Lovell High School and a 1980 graduate of the University of Wyoming after attending Northwest Community College for two years, where she was a member of the student senate during her sophomore year. She earned a Master of Education in technology from Lesley University in 2003.

She and husband Brad Feather have two children, Jared and Ian.

"I have always enjoyed school and learning, so it felt right," she told the Daily News of her career decision. "Teaching is the path I have chosen as I also wanted to touch lives and make a difference. I have never looked back or wished that I had selected a different career. Teaching has been a very rewarding career."

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Original Publication Date: July 16, 2015

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