PETROLIA (KFDX/KJTL) — This week is ‘Teacher Appreciation Week’ and some teachers in Petrolia saw some of their efforts appreciated on a grand scale. Two teachers were awarded for ‘Teacher of the Year.’
Both award winners say they don’t do this job for the money or the recognition. They do it to help their students be whatever they want to be.
Josh Cox has been an ag teacher at Petrolia Jr., Sr. High for more than 20 years. On top of that, he also drives the bus route and attends many sporting events at the school.
For his efforts, his peers saw fit to name him ‘Teacher of the Year’ for 2021.
“When you wake up every morning and you like what you do and you enjoy being around the kids and getting the opportunity to teach ’em, it makes coming to work every day a pleasure,” Cox said.
At the elementary school, Kristin Mahurin received the ‘Teacher of the Year’ honor.
She has taught math and science for about three years. Her peers praise her for always being prepared and for being a leader on campus.
“It means a lot because it comes from staff members, it’s not just the kids that appreciate what you do. It’s that your peers also appreciate what you’re doing every day,” Mahurin said.
Last year because of COVID, school district officials showed up to the houses of the honorees. But they are thankful to hand out this year’s awards in person.
“We wanted it to be a surprise, they’re nominated by their peers and selected. We kept it a secret and that way it truly is a surprise for them. We just want it to be a special time for them because they’ve worked hard all year long,” Petrolia CISD Superintendent David Hedges said.
For both of these teachers, they are just happy to help future generations.
“Every day is a new day for us here, especially in our ag department. Always something new and something challenging. It’s fun to come to work every day,” Cox said.
“I’ve wanted to teach math specifically since I was in the fifth grade and had a fifth-grade math teacher make a big impact. So now I have a little bear that I made in fifth grade that hangs on my wall and she’s holding a little math book. I make my kids do that every year so they can look back later and be like ‘oh, I can do what I wanted to do’,” Mahurin said.
As they live out their dreams, these educators push their students to aim for theirs.
The teachers were also given a gift basket and a $2,000 check as part of the teacher of the year package.