IUSD 2017 Teacher of the Year
Talented, compassionate, intelligent, committed, funny, enthusiastic. These are just some of the words that students and Northwood staff alike have used to describe English teacher Christina Banagas-Engelerdt, the 2016-2017 IUSD High School Teacher of the Year.
Having taught here since Northwood High opened in 1999, Banagas-Engelerdt has had a tremendous impact on the education on both the education of her own students and the Northwood campus as a whole. As the WASC self study coordinator, an English department head and the intervention lead teacher, Banagas-Engelerdt has made numerous significant contributions to the Northwood community.
“She’s very kind, sweet and dedicated,” History teacher and Banagas’ H10 Humanities partner Bryan Hoang said. “It’s been great to bounce ideas off her and collaborate with her and try to make our History and English classes more integrated. I just don’t think there’s anything she can’t teach and teach really really well. That’s just how talented she is.”
From Honors European Literature to Business Communications to Writing Intervention, Banagas-Engelerdt has taught a variety of classes in her many years here at Northwood.
Regardless of the subject matter, she has been consistent in her commitment to helping her students and seeing to it that they succeed.
“Mrs. Banagas is probably the most encouraging teacher I’ve ever had,” junior Harry Liner said. “I always looked forward to her H10 class last year. Our class discussions generated helpful insight into each unit, and I feel like my writing saw a major transformation, largely owing to her guidance.”
Though the selection process for IUSD Teacher of the Year is extremely selective, it is not difficult to see why Banagas-Engelerdt was chosen. Throughout her years at Northwood, she has played an integral part in shaping the community into what it is today, mentoring numerous student teachers, planning innovative curriculum and imparting her wealth of knowledge onto her students.
“Christina was in the original group of staff that started Northwood,” principal Leslie Roach said. “She’s served in a lot of different roles on campus, but I think what’s most remarkable about her is that she continues to grow and refine her practice. She’s always trying something new. I thinks she has such a global perspective in terms of how what she does is supportive to the whole school community. Whether you’re in her class or not, she’s trying to support other people, trying to help the school make decisions that are in the best interest of all the kids.”