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Ms. Sautner goes to Washington

A Lake Havasu High School teacher has accepted an invitation to the White House.

Ginny Sautner, who teaches English and student government at the high school, will be traveling to Washington, D.C. Tuesday to attend a National Teacher of the Year ceremony on Wednesday.

“I feel like I haven’t fully quite processed it, I just never thought that I would get a personal invitation from the president to the White House,” said Sautner, who was named 2016-2017 National Rural Teacher of the Year. “It was an opportunity I could not pass up.”

According to Sautner, the invitation states that about 200 educators will also be in attendance. The event will consist of a listening session in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building, a reception on in the White House State Floor and ceremony at 4 p.m., during which President Donald Trump is scheduled to speak, she said.

“I think because I’m being invited as that national rural teacher that really feels like my role there is to be a representative of those teachers who really often times don’t feel like they have as strong of a voice as teachers in suburban areas do,” said Sautner. “I know I will learn something from this and be able to take that experience back to share with colleagues, my school and my district, and I think it reminds us that even though sometimes we feel isolated out here in our little Lake Havasu City, we really are a part of public education at the national level.”

United States Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos will also make an appearance at the event, says Sautner, who hopes for an opportunity to converse with her about the importance of public education.

“Really our entire county’s success was founded on that ideal of it is our public education that allows our citizens to be successful, you can be whatever you want to in this county, all of that American Dream is based on having an exceptional public education and when we don’t fund it then that dream starts to crumble and I would be honored to be able to voice that, I know so many teachers feel that right now,” she said, later adding that she is supporter of the state’s ongoing Red for Ed Movement.

Sautner will return from Washington, D.C. Thursday. She says she will pay for her airfare and hotel while the Lake Havasu Unified School District will pay for a car to the airport, she said.


(by Chelsea Curtis, Today's News Herald - April 28, 2018)




Overwhelmed by the history of Washington D.C and the White House, Lake Havasu High School teacher Ginny Sautner said her opportunity to attend the National Teacher of the Year ceremony Wednesday was “amazing.”

Sautner said it was a treat having a chance to connect with this year’s national teacher of the year, Mandy Manning, an English and math instructor who teaches refugee and immigrant students in Spokane, Wash., along with rubbing elbows with the principal, counselor and the librarian of the year.

“Listening to (Manning) talk it was so powerful,” Sautner said. “Her focus was on connections and relationship building, which was really interesting because this was the exact topic I spoke on when I went to Ohio to receive my National Rural Teacher of the year award.”

Along with the ceremony was a chance to sit in on a panel discussion and formal reception that included remarks from President Donald Trump. “The president talked about the value of educators and that we were really tremendous professionals,” Sautner said.

While it was a politically scripted event, Sautner said the panel discussion, attended by U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, touched on substantive issues such as school safety.

The biggest takeaway for Sautner Wednesday is that educators, no matter where they teach, are connected.

“We all are working toward the same goals and realize that we are a very powerful coalition of people,” she said. “We have a lot of influence and a voice if we choose to use it. It was an awesome day.”


(by David Louis, Today's News Herald - May 3, 2018)

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