Teacher Of The Year Happy To Return

September 1, 2023
Savage Frieze

Samantha Jo Zaprzalka, named teacher of the year at The Gilbert School last spring, said she was eager to return Aug. 29 when seventh and ninth graders started. The rest of the school returned on Aug. 30.

“I’m still in shock that I was selected,” said Zaprzalka, who teaches business, finance, career and technology classes. She said the designation also gave her an energy boost.

Part of what keeps her going is the content of her classes: “I find my content extremely relatable to the students. It’s real world examples. They definitely tend to get more into it and it definitely helps.”

For example, Zaprzalka said they might write a resume and then use it when job hunting. “The other part that keeps me going,” Zaprzalka said is that, “I had a lot of not so great teachers growing up and I want to be …theone they can count, the one with a smile every day, the one they can talk to.”

She also looks forward to being advisor to the student council, which allows her to see youngsters in action outside the classroom: “We get to do all the fun things like spirit weeks and pep rallies and homecoming.”

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