2023 Excellence in Teaching Award - Mary Stone

Washington Elementary Teacher Mary Stone - 2023 Excellence in Teaching Award Recipient
Posted on 05/11/2023

May 11, 2023 - Eureka, CA - Eureka City Schools (ECS) would like to congratulate Mary Stone, First Grade Teacher at Washington Elementary, for her recent Excellence in Teaching Award from the Humboldt County Office of Education. Stone received this prestigious honor with 14 other local teachers, including Kindergarten Teacher Michelle Merideth-Sutke of Grant Elementary.

Stone shares with us some of her background, along with personal perspectives and philosophies on being a teacher.
“I have professionally been involved in education since 1989, when I first started teaching in Reno, NV.  After two years there, I transferred to Eureka City Schools (ECS) in Eureka, and that has been my teaching home ever since. I have been teaching first grade, with one year as a 1st/2nd combination teacher, for my entire teaching career. I have a wealth of experience and knowledge in early education, and I’m happy to share that with my students, their families, student teachers, and my teaching peers. I’m on a journey, and I’m always happy to have others join me.

As an example of my desire to share my journey, I have embraced the opportunity throughout my years working with ECS to work with and help shape an annual stream of student teachers from Humboldt State University (now Cal Poly Humboldt), as well as other online credential programs. This exposure brings with it great responsibility, and I respect that challenge. For me, to model best teaching practices, whether they involve student behavior management, presentation of curriculum and coverage of standards, organization of materials, or assessment collection and analysis, I need to stay on top of my game. I am a life-long learner, and I model that through my pursuit to always be looking for methods and practices that allow me to improve my craft and better meet the needs of all my diverse population of students.
I got into this profession because I love learning, and I love working with students. My passion that drove me here is that I truly believed I could make a difference in children’s lives. I believed that when I started teaching, and continue to believe that 34 years later. I love what I do. I love the student and family relationships that I have developed, and I love the strong peer relationships that I maintain. I care about the students, and I care about what they experience in our classroom. Additionally, I have a very strong work ethic, and I am willing to put in the effort to run the most effective programs I can for the wonderful community of learners that I work with.”

Stone was accompanied at the HCOE Excellence in Teaching awards event at the Sequoia Conference Center on May 3, 2023 by her husband, and the three colleagues and friends who nominated her, Washington Principal Teri Silvers, Maikken Bass, and Rose Buchner.

Principal Silvers says, “Mrs. Stone is an inspirational educator. Moreover, she motivates, teachers, monitors, and supports all students in her classroom. Mary gets results. She knows what effective teaching tools look like, and knows and expects highest-level student work and behavior.”

Thank you for your excellence in teaching Mary Stone. Keep up the great work!