2015 Utah Teacher of the Year finalists


Meet the 2015 Utah Teacher of the Year finalists. The winner will be announced on Sept. 5 during a banquet recognizing all Utah school district teachers of the year.


They are listed in alphabetical order.


BaldwinMatthew R. Baldwin

School name: Whitehorse High School

Subject area: Language Arts

Grade level: 7th, 8th

Teaching experience: 14 years

“Overall, Mr. Baldwin maintains an organized classroom, sequences instruction well, and expects students to know and follow all procedures. His consistent management skills, of students’ behaviors and of the curriculum, leads to student achievement. He does an excellent job with cooperative groups and verbal opportunities to respond. Mr. Baldwin’s willingness to improve his teaching practice while participating school improvement efforts is exemplary. ” Excerpt from a recommendation letter.




DrusselPatricia R. Drussel

School name: Dixon Middle School

Subject area: English

Grade level: 8th

Teaching experience: 27 years

“Pat has served as an English teacher for over 23 years at Dixon Middle School and has helped over 3000 different students become successful readers, writers, and overall good citizens. Her passion for seeing students succeed is exemplary. Year after year, her students perform higher than any other teacher in our district on end of year assessments. Pat has been a leader in the State of Utah for years in the development of the 7th-8th grade curricula.” Excerpt from a recommendation letter.




GhaffariMohsen Ghaffari

School name: North Star Elementary

Subject area: Elementary education

Grade level: 5th

Teaching experience: 18

“Above it all, Mohsen is a true supporter of children. He really knows his kids. He teaches parents how to help their kids. He engages students in learning reading, writing, physical fitness, the arts, social studies, science and all subjects. I remember how hard he worked to get students to become better writers. He wants students to think and defend their answers. He helps them when they struggle and challenges them.” Excerpt from a recommendation letter.





MechamMichelle Mecham

School name: Mt. Loafer Elementary

Subject area: General elementary education

Grade level: 2nd

Teaching experience: 16

“The feeling tone that Michelle creates in her classroom is amazing. Her students are always respectful, engaged, quiet and very happy. She sets high expectations of how students show integrity and the students follow through with those expectations. Our school technicians comment often that Michelle’s classes are the best classes they work with. Michele is good to communicate with parents of their child’s progress and has a great relationship with them.” Excerpt from a recommendation letter.




wellsRebecca Wells

School name: Bingham High School

Subject area: Math

Grade level: 10th -12th

Teaching experience: 29

“She is truly a master teacher. Rebecca incorporates song, chants, gestures, movement and vocal dynamics to keep students engaged in learning mathematics and help them remember what they have learned. She skillfully manages her classroom and rarely has any behavioral issue with her students. Rebecca is a favorite among Bingham High School students and many of her calculus students consider her to be their most inspirational teacher.” Excerpt from a recommendation letter.

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