North, South Students Take First Place at Educators Rising State Competition

March 31, 2022

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Congratulations to Shazarie (Shay) Benjamin, a senior at South High School, and Emily Allen, a sophomore at North High School, who recently won 1st place for their presentations at the Educators Rising State Summit and Competition and qualified for the National competition in Washington D.C.

Shay presented a TED Talk for the Creative Lecture division. She focused on the importance of developing student voice. She started by discussing the myriad ways students’ Social Emotional Learning was impacted while students were learning at home during the pandemic and then how it affected them when they returned to classrooms. She discussed how some students were acting out, demonstrated a lack of focus, and how their grades dropped. She shared her personal experience with going from a highly motivated “A” student to a discouraged ‘as long as I pass” student. She also explored the teachers' experiences of trying to get students back on track. She ended by encouraging students to use their voice, especially in asking for help. She also encouraged teachers to hold students accountable and be approachable and available/willing to listen to students.

Emily presented a Lesson Plan with delivery in the arts. She chose this because she wants to be a choir teacher. She created a lesson about rhythms and presented it to 7th-grade choir students at Urban Middle School. She was proud of her effort and felt like it went well. One key observation she made was how difficult it was to reach everyone. She recognized the challenge in trying to provide everyone with the same learning experience.

This is the first time that Sheboygan Area School District students competed at this event; although students have participated in the Summit for the last two years.

In addition to participation in the Educators Rising organization, Shay has taken Educational Psychology, Youth-Tutoring-Youth, Introduction to Education, and Speech classes to help her prepare for this competition and also for her future career path. She is planning to attend UW-Milwaukee next year with the intent to become a school social worker or school counselor.

Emily has taken Choir and Piano classes and is enrolled in Introduction to Education and Youth-Tutoring-Youth next year. She also participates in SHARE (Students Helping, Accepting, Relating, and Empowering). These courses and opportunities will help Emily in her future plans to attend UW-Stevens Point (in 2024) and major in education with a minor in music.

Educators Rising is a career and technical student organization made up of a network of students, teachers, and education leaders aiming to inspire young people to pursue a career in education. Through participation in Educators Rising, students explore careers in education and have opportunities to prepare for the professions through conferences, competitions, and classroom experiences such as youth tutoring and volunteering.

Offering the opportunities for students to participate in organizations like Educators Rising, helps school districts cultivate their own next generation of highly skilled educators through a “grow your own” initiative. Learn more about Educators Rising at https://educatorsrising.org/

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