Teachers recognized for standout performances in education

Scarlett Lestina, Managing Editor

Recently, two LT teachers were awarded for their extraordinary impacts in the classroom and beyond. While the awards came from different organizations, they both stemmed from prestigious colleges recognizing the teachers.

Aviation teacher Dave Root was awarded the Embry Riddle Aeronautical University Aerospace Institute Regional Teacher of the Year on Oct. 24. This is a recognition selected by the regional managers and university administrators of Embry Riddle University, taking place at the university in Dayton Beach, FL.

“It was unexpected, so I was pretty surprised,” Root said. “It was a nice feeling to be recognized for the work we have done here at LT.”

Root was given this award based on the work he has put into growing the aerospace program at LT, he said. It is given to teachers who had high levels of growth and success in their programs, Root being a standout teacher in the field of several hundred around the country who teach for the university’s dual credit aerospace program. 

“Mr. Root deserves this award because he stands out as a teacher,” Ruben Guevara ‘23 said. “He cares so much about what he teaches [and] that same passion reflects into his students.”

Similarly, on Nov. 8, AP European History teacher Jessica Drogos won the University of Chicago Outstanding Educator Award as she was nominated by former student Lucy Cygal ‘22 who attends the University of Chicago, she said.

“[Teachers] go into teaching because we want to impact students’ lives in a positive way,” Drogos said. “To have that recognition means a great deal.”

To be given this award, Cygal had to write a short explanation on an educator who made a difference in their life, Drogos said. Cygal chose to write about Drogos’ history class she had during her sophomore year of high school and the impact it had on her.

“[Drogos’] class quite literally changed the course of my life,” Cygal wrote about Drogos. “I have never had a teacher influence me the way that [Drogos] did. [Her] effort and dedication to our class blew me away.”

Drogos was notified of her award in June, along with a plethora of University of Chicago merchandise and other gifts to accompany her achievement, she said. She then attended the awards ceremony via Zoom in November. 

However, this was not Drogos’ first student nominated award she has received. LT alumnus Peggy Moriarty ‘10 nominated Drogos for the Teacher Tribute Initiative Award given out by Stanford University, which she won in 2010. 

“Throughout all my years in high school, one teacher, Ms. Drogos, stands out in my mind as the best educator I have known,” Moriarty wrote in her writeup about Drogos. “Both inside and outside the classroom, Ms. Drogos was always willing to go the extra mile for her students.”

Both Drogos and Root continue to teach LT, striving to make a positive impact on students’ lives.

“[I’m] really humbled and full of gratitude,” Drogos said. “I mean that someone felt that I had that much of an impact on their lives. That’s the goal, right?”