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 Getting to Know SDCOE: Monarch School Teacher Recognized as an Inspiration

Kristen Tanner helps the students in her class find their strengths and reach their full potential by designing creative lessons that enable them to explore the world around them.

Tanner, who teaches 4th grade at Monarch School, has the highest expectations for her students, all of whom are impacted by homelessness. This passion inspired teacher Delia Pearsons to nominate Tanner for recognition through the NBC 7 San Diego and San Diego County Office of Education's (SDCOE) Inspirational Teacher of the Month program. You can view a segment about the recognition on the NBC 7 San Diego website.

"One step into Ms. Tanner's classroom, and learning adventure and fun is evident by the surrounding walls of the super sports theme," Pearsons wrote. "Each student is supported to try, do, and be their best."

Relationships are at the heart of Tanner's work, with students, parents, and the community.

"I can't wait to be in Ms. Tanner's classroom next year because I know she will love me," a Monarch School student said.

Tanner called the recognition a "special blessing" and a "beautiful and humbling surprise."

"When you go into teaching you know you're never going to be rich and oftentimes you have to find your value and appreciation in the smiles on kids' faces and the hugs at the end of the day," she said. "You don't get a lot of recognition, often more criticism, but you do it because you love it."

Monarch School is a K-12 public school serving the needs of children impacted by homelessness. In its unique partnership between SDCOE and the nonprofit Monarch School Project, SDCOE provides teachers and an accredited education, and the project supplements this program through academic and enrichment programs including an after-school program, expressive arts therapy, and counseling.

Nominate an Inspirational Teacher or Student

Do you know a truly inspirational K-12 educator or student? SDCOE and NBC 7 San Diego invite you to nominate that deserving person for our recognition program.

NBC 7 education reporter Rory Devine will recognize the selected student or teacher with a surprise visit to their classroom and interview the recipient for an Inspirational Teacher/Student of the Month segment that airs during a weekday newscast.

Nominate a student

An Inspirational Student is an outstanding individual on his or her high school campus and within their community. This student not only excels in their curriculum and demonstrates leadership, but they go above and beyond and take initiative to improve their school and community's environment through service, philanthropic efforts, personal values and positive influence.

Nominate a teacher

An Inspirational Teacher is a dedicated educator who brings their energy, enthusiasm and creativity to the classroom every day. The Inspirational Teacher faces challenges with ingenuity and is constantly evolving their practices to adapt to the student's educational needs. They are held in high esteem by their peers and students and set an inspiring example through their community service. An Inspirational Teacher truly makes a difference in San Diego County!