BIDWELL — Gallia Local Schools Board of Education, Monday evening, recognized River Valley High School teacher Aaron Walker for recently receiving the 2018 Yale Educator Award.
According to a letter addressed to Walker and signed by Yale University’s Associate Director of Admissions and Director of Outreach and Communications Mark Dunn and Senior Assistant Director of Admissions and Director of Recruitment John Yi, the award, which is sponsored by Yale’s undergraduate admissions office, “recognizes educators from around the world who inspire and support their students to perform at high levels to achieve excellence.”
The letter further goes on to state that Yale’s incoming Class of 2022 students were asked to nominate an outstanding educator who impacted his or her life. Sharla Moody, an RVHS alumna of the Class of 2018, entered Yale University as a student this fall and nominated Walker for the award.
“As our committee reviewed nominations, we were constantly reminded of the unique and critical role that exceptional educators play in shaping their students’ futures by encouraging them to pursue their goals,” wrote Yi and Dunn.
“We’re pretty excited for Aaron for this prestigious honor,” said Gallia Local Schools Superintendent Jude Meyers.
“It’s a pretty cool thing,” said RVHS Principal T.R. Edwards. “Out of all the Class of 2022 at Yale, Mr. Walker was one who received a designation as a 2018 Yale Educator (awardee)…We see Mr. Walker. He is constantly pushing students to achieve their goals. Sometimes it might make them uncomfortable whenever he’s pushing them, but he really does push them beyond what at times they think they may be able to achieve. Anyways, we thought it was a special thing for us to take a moment and pause and congratulate Mr. Walker. “
“Any opportunity that I can (say), I’m part of an exceptional team and we have had great educators I’ve been able to look up to, that I saw push students,” said Walker. “I was one that was pushed by Cynthia Graham and Cathy Greenleaf and names that many of us know in this room. I’m also grateful to be part of such a great team. I wouldn’t trade my job for anything and to be able to work with young people like Sharla, and such students, is my privilege but also to do it with people across the hall and overhead that care zealously for our students…I know that lots of money, work and time goes into these (school) programs and sometimes we scratch our heads and say ‘Is it getting us anywhere? Is it doing any good?’ Believe me, I’m one that scratches my head a lot, but we look at students like Sharla and it’s rewarding. I appreciate this honor but it’s something I feel like is indicative of our district and something that we all share.”
Dean Wright can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2103.