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PTO Teacher and Staff Members of the Year
by Aniko Zala, Staff Writer

Every year the West G. Parent-Teacher Organization presents awards for Teacher and Staff Member of the Year. This year Mr. Chris Connell was named Teacher of the Year and Mr. T.J. Rockwell was named Staff Member of the Year. Voting was conducted last spring with the whole student body participating. Congratulations to both winners for the 2003 school year.
Teacher Chris Connell:
AZ: What do you teach?
CC: Ninth grade English
AZ: How long have you been teaching?
CC: This is my second year here and my ninth year teaching. I taught at local private schools as well as overseas in Poland and Honduras.
AZ: Why do you teach?
CC: I teach because I'm primarily concerned with learning, both my students' learning and my own.
AZ: What is your approach?
CC: At the very least I want students not to mind coming to class. At the most, I want students to look forward to reading, writing and speaking about literature because they know that it will enrich their lives. As a teacher, I want to inspire, model and challenge my students. I demystify the process of learning for my students; I make it transparent.

Staff Member TJ Rockwell:
AZ: What do you do?
TJR: I am the Athletic Director for the district's athletic programs.
AZ: How long have you been doing this?
TJR: This is my second year as athletic director. I have been coaching football here for five years, though. Before being West Geauga's athletic director, I worked for the Cleveland Force.
AZ: Why do you do this?
TJR: I love sports. I grew up doing every sport available. For a year after college, I didn't do any sports. I really missed it. After that, I knew that I needed to do something involving sports. It was an easy decision for me to make. I love doing this. I can relate to the students on a personal level because I know what they are going through as student athletes.

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