BSM honors four teachers with end-of-the-year awards

Sam Best, Staff Writer

Every year BSM honors its teachers with the annual awards, presented to the winning teachers and staff members at the school year’s final Mass. This year the honorees were Ms. Maura Brew, Dr. Steve Pohlen, Ms. Evonne Zahedi, and Mr. John Groess. 

Even though BSM was unable to host its end-of-the-year Mass at school, as they have done every other year, these teachers were celebrated at the All-School Virtual Mass that took place on the morning of Wednesday, May 20. 

At the end of the virtual Mass,  BSM’s President Dr. Adam Ehrmantraut, Senior High Principal Dr. Susan Skinner, Vice Chair of BSM’s Parent Association Kristen Hansberry, President of the Parent Association Oufreez Argenta, and BSM senior Olivia Pace helped to celebrate this year’s four winners on the live broadcast.

Ms. Maura Brew, an English teacher at BSM who is retiring at the end of this school year, was awarded Faculty of the Year. Brew has been teaching at BSM for over 20 years. Outside of just teaching, Brew has coached the speech team and directed many one-act plays for BSM. Skinner gave many reasons for why Brew was so deserving of the award. “One of the most outstanding teachers we have ever had, committed to teaching and bringing out the best in students. She has been a positive role model for all of us. Students learn so much from her, and what they learn sticks with them for life,” Skinner said. 

BSM’s Director of Learning and Technology Dr. Steve Pohlen was awarded the Staff of the Year award. For his work allowing Extended Online School to be such a successful venture for BSM, Pohlen was chosen for this award as he rose to the challenge helping the online transition to be smoother for everyone. “The adaptability, concept learning and unique perspectives offered in support of colleagues, students, and families has been on display so clearly this year,” Ehrmantraut said. 

we are able to celebrate the contributions of many people because there are so many at BSM committed to making this school a special place.”

— Dr. Adam Ehrmantraut

The Parent’s Choice Award, selected by the Parent Association and chosen from nominations sent in by parents throughout the year, was awarded to junior high science teacher Ms. Evonne Zahedi. Parent’s applauded how Zahedi always kept students looking forward to being in her class and managed to get the best out of every student in her class, even during online school. “It was mentioned by several parents that students that have had this teacher have referenced material learned in this class years after being in her class,” Argenta said. 

An award for the faculty and staff entirely selected by students, the Apple Polisher Award was awarded to math teacher Mr. John Groess. Students selected Groess to win the Apple Polisher for his ability to make the learning environment more welcoming and enjoyable for students because of his outgoing nature. He was described as dedicating himself to the learning of all of his students. “He puts all his time into making sure we can achieve anything. Not to mention he is very funny,” Pace said. 

While these four faculty and staff were honored, the rest of faculty and staff at BSM were lauded for rising to the task of adjusting to the unique circumstances of teaching students online. “Today… we are able to celebrate the contributions of many people because there are so many at BSM committed to making this school a special place,” Ehrmantraut said.