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Statewide award honors Anchorage educator

By KTVA CBS 11 News 9:06 AM May 2, 2014

A Dimond High School JROTC instructor, mentor and wrestling coach has been honored as BP’s Teacher of the Year.

Thomas Shelley was selected for the award from among a pool of 1,400 top teachers statewide, 10 of whom were honored as Teachers of Excellence. The program was launched in 1995, and BP said it’s a way to recognize Alaska’s outstanding educators.

But Shelley said he never expected to win.

“The district has got a ton of excellent teachers in it, I’m sure,” he said on KTVA 11′s Daybreak Friday. “I teach at Dimond, and I know the quality of peers that I have there, and so even to have been nominated coming out of Dimond was really an honor for me.”

The Anchorage teacher said his work centers on preparing Dimond students for life after high school.

“Kinda the way that we try to do things at Dimond is to teach life lessons in everything that we do,” Shelley said. “Our curriculum is centered on leadership and citizenship — that’s at the heart of everything that we do — but with that, the instructors are given just an excellent chance to make a difference in a kid’s life. ”

Shelley is set to receive a $1,500 scholarship as part of the award. He said he plans on putting the money towards achieving a master’s degree, which he’s currently pursuing.

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