The University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) selected Sondra Torgerson for a 2017 Teacher Recognition award. Torgerson was nominated by a former student, who is now enrolled in school at UNLV.
On Wednesday, Oct. 18, Torgerson, who is a teacher and Dean of Studens at Battle Mountain High School was invited to Las Vegas for a ceremony recognizing teachers who positively impacted UNLV’s freshman students.
“UNLV asked their incoming freshman to write an essay about a teacher who has impacted them, and McKenna Jones wrote an essay about me.” Torgerson explained, “They choose who they want to out of the essays but did recognize about 70 educators.”
According to www.unlv.edu, the UNLV Office of Admissions and College of Education hosted the annual event, highlighting the important work of those who dedicate their professional careers to influencing future generations. Throughout orientation season, incoming freshman nominated high school teachers who made a difference in their lives, whose influence encouraged them to further their education and pursue a college degree. The UNLV website states they are honored to recognize outstanding teachers who inspire students to pursue their dreams.
“It reinforced that what we’re doing is important and that we do impact kids lives, even when we might not always know it. I do not do this for the prestige, I have been doing it for 34 years, and I love my job.” Torgerson continued, “I don’t do it for the awards, but it is nice to know that you reached a kid. If I can reach a few every year that is the goal.”
Torgerson traveled to Las Vegas with her husband Scott Torgerson. BMHS Principal Russ Klein also made the trip to support his Dean of Students. Klein complimented Torgerson, “She does so much for the kids, and we are fortunate to have her.”
“I think when you are not only the classroom teacher but a coach, and you’re pushing them, spending that extra time with them, they remember it. It’s not like I am a cupcake, I have high expectations for them and show them they can push forward and do well,” said Torgerson.
Torgerson wants to continue the positive impact on the students at BMHS and hopes to reach as many students as possible. As for Jones, she is at the start of pursuing a degree from UNLV and will rely on lessons learned from those who impacted her in life. Torgerson is undoubtedly proud of Jones and thankful she helped her grow into the person she is today.