Beacon Heights teacher goes out with a bang
Beacon Heights fifth grade teacher Barbara Rindflesh retired with honors this year, as she was named the 2012 Andrew Wood Cooley III Teacher of the Year by the local chapter of Kiwanis.
Kiwanis members surprised her with a plaque at a school assembly on May 31, and further saluted her with $300 at a celebratory banquet on June 12.
“It’s a great honor,” Rindflesh said. “It’s kind of a nice way to end my career.”
Rindflesh started her education career in 1969. Over the next 20 years, she taught Kindergarten, third, fourth and fifth grades in Salt Lake and Granite District. She also taught at a parent co-op preschool in Granite. She has been at Beacon Heights since 1991.
Both her mother and great-grandmother were teachers, and she and her sister spent hours playing school as children, Rindflesh said.
“I come from a family of teachers,” she said.
“It was something I’ve always wanted to do,” she said.
Beacon Heights Principal Rae Louie nominated her for the award with a letter that praised her dedication to her students, her involvement in the school’s language arts committee, her willingness to mentor student teachers, and the great example she sets for her students through her own life. She has also received a PTA Golden Apple and many other awards and grants over her career.
“She was quite outstanding,” said Sugar House Kiwanis member EmmaLou Morey, who was on the award selection committee. “She was very innovative in her teaching, and she was loved by the faculty and the children.”
Sugar House Kiwanis has been honoring local teachers for 20 years now. The award was started by member Andrew Wood Cooley, and renamed after him upon his death in 2000.
As a teacher, Rindflesh greatly appreciates the club’s acknowledgement of all the hard work teachers do, she said. They often feel that the extra hours and personal funds they put into their classrooms go unnoticed, so a little encouragement makes a big difference.
“We do that for the kids, so it’s nice to have someone do that for us,” she said.