By Brandon HENSLEY
As the end of another school year winds down, one Crescenta Valley High School teacher is gearing up to receive a brand new award.
Drama teacher Brent Beerman won the first ever Teacher of the Year award by the CV alumni organization Small Change for Big Change,that was announced this week. He and senior student Dylan Kilgour, who received the Outstanding Student Contributor award, were also given checks for $500.
Beerman was humble, but pleased.
“I was really surprised,” he said. “I didn’t expect it.”
However, according to Small Change President Alice Engh, the voting wasn’t close.
“It was a majority for Beerman by far. It was overwhelming,” she said. Beerman’s colleagues at CV conducted the voting in May, and Engh said the comments teachers wrote were “really inspired and really detailed. They were really excited to nominate him, I could tell.”
“What was really cool was this was the first award of this kind,” Beerman said. “They relied heavily on the faculty members, and it’s really nice to be recognized by your peers.”
SCBC is a non-profit that has been in the works for some time but didn’t officially launch until this February. It is composed of CV alumni, and its intention is to give back to the school through donations and awards. Engh said it’s a way to show appreciation for Falcon teachers, past and present.
“We wanted to give back to the school and the teachers. CV doesn’t really have a formal alumni association,” Engh said, who graduated CV in 1991 and went on to work for Goldman Sachs in New York City in their Investment Accounting division.
Engh and her partners also give back to students, and this year they honored Kilgour who played on the basketball team. When he decides what he wants to study in college, a CV alumnus in that area of profession will be provided to Kilgour as mentor.
The criteria for the teacher award included that the individual consistently inspired students by being a mentor and role model inside and outside the classroom.
Linda Evans, former principal and currently on the advisory board for SCBC, said Beerman fit the entire criterion.
“I think he truly has done that,” she said.
Evans also praised Beerman’s work for the play he and his students put together on bullying this winter, “22%,” which focused on a survey at school of how many kids said they were being harassed. Evans said she was blown away by the play.
“I was deeply touched and very impressed,” she said. “As far as doing high level work and really promoting a positive school climate, that was truly memorable.”
“School doesn’t end for me at three o’clock. We’re there at all hours of the day working with kids,” Beerman said.
As for SCBC, so far so good.
“We have been able to raise a good chunk of money in the last three months,” Engh said.
The organization plans on presenting a Lifetime Impact Award this fall, which would go to either a past or present teacher. The point of doing all of this is to make a difference in the Falcon community, anyway the group can.
“As budget cuts are hitting more, we want to recognize teachers but also help in other ways that the school needs,” Engh said.
For more information on Small Change for Big Change, visit www.scbcnow.org.