At Snap! Raise, we believe that “Every Kid Needs a Champion.” Teacher Appreciation Week is a great opportunity to highlight some of the best.
Day 5: Honoring All the Teachers and Coaches in the Pandemic World of Remote Teaching
The coronavirus changed the world dramatically. This was exceptionally true for educators and students. Teachers and coaches suddenly had to navigate technology and overcome issues with a format very different from traditional education. They innovated new approaches and adapted lessons intended for in-person learning. Through their efforts, they engaged students, successfully taught skills, and motivated learners.
Day 4: Art Yang
Ulysses S. Grant High School
Art Yang believes teachers and coaches need to be there for their students whenever possible. Over the past year, he made the choice to go to campus almost daily to help them. Going above and beyond typical teacher or coach responsibilities, he passed out meals, books, and necessary materials for the entire student body, not just his students.
He also sought to keep the kids healthy and engaged in socially-responsible physical activity. Knowing that it’s all too easy to stay indoors at the computer or on the couch, Art found a thoughtful, safe solution. He met with student athletes at the driving range to help them learn the game of golf. Sharing his passion for golf, he fostered that enthusiasm in others. In a typical school year, Art is both the boys’ and girls’ volleyball coach at Ulysses S. Grant High School in Van Nuys, CA. In 2021, he was an exceptional inspiration!
Aaron Karp of Snap! Raise admires Art’s passion for learning, and devotion to his students and unhesitantly calls him “A great man!”
Day 3: Pat Owens
Kuna High School
Wrestling Coach Pat Owens is a PE teacher at Kuna High School in Kuna, Idaho. He exemplifies the school motto and ensures the best experience for his students:
“At Kuna High School, we will be challenged to grow, change and learn
in a caring and safe environment.”
Not only a teacher and coach, he is also an active advocate for the school’s wrestling program. He has organized four wrestling fundraising campaigns with Snap! Raise to equip and provide for the students.
Most recently, he helped bring a feeling of accomplishment and closure to the high school seniors with a campaign to provide a capstone event for the class of 2021. With the impact of Covid-19 over the last year, this Senior class had been severely impacted. Coach Owens helped create a sense of normalcy and a great environment for our Seniors to experience completing high school through a festive graduation night event.
Kellen Willis of Snap! Raise met Coach Owens through his fundraising and proudly nominated him to be honored during Teacher Appreciation Week.
Day 2: Augustine Tieri
Danbury High School
Football coach and teacher, Augustine Tieri of Danbury High School constantly supports his student-athletes. This year, COVID canceled their season. He advocated for his athletes to have a season. They did not get the chance, but this didn’t deter him.
Danbury is the largest high school in the state of Connecticut and they were fully remote until February. Augustine Tieri helped his students and athletes overcome obstacles to remote learning. He also understood the social and emotional cost of his team not having a season. Not being on the field might have severely impacted his athletes’ chances for college recruitment.
Coach Tieri took to social media and posted frequently about his athletes to get them recognized by colleges. Though his coaching focuses on football, he supported his students no matter what the activity by praising and promoting all their successes.
Ever active, even outside school, Tieri also helps with youth sports in the area.
His Twitter is @coachtieri.
Dana Boynton was Augustine Tieri’s Snap! Raise partner and nominated him for Teacher Appreciation Week.
Day 1: Stephan Zichella
West Orange High School
Multi-talented Stephan Zichella (“Coach Z”) is the head baseball coach, head wrestling coach, and the Dean of Students at West Orange High School.
On June 6, 2019, one of his students and athletes, Christopher J. Morgan tragically lost his life. CJ was enrolled at West Point U.S. Military Academy where he studied law and wrestling. He was a very accomplished student-athlete at West Orange HS: the captain of the varsity football & wrestling team, holding athletic records, and inspiring others as one of the greatest athletes to pass through the school.
Coach Z took it upon himself to help CJ’s family with their financial needs during that difficult time. His fundraising raised over $73,000 for them! Certainly, money is no consolation for the loss of a child, but it was a way to help and support them, ensuring they had less to worry about financially.
Chris Mannen was his partner at Snap! Raise and nominated Coach Z for Teacher Appreciate Week.
“Aside from this incredible selfless act, Coach Z was one of the first coaches I met in my Snap career. I have worked with him on 5 Baseball campaigns since 2017 and Rich (another Snap! Raise partner) has done the same with wrestling for his team. He has been gracious in every way possible, welcoming me into the school with open arms every time I wanted to stop by and just going above and beyond to be a good dude. I have seen the way kids interact with him first-hand. He is a well-respected leader at the high school who kids look up to and gravitate towards for wisdom and guidance. Coach Z has become someone I can call a genuine friend of mine. He is a one-of-a-kind human and someone I am grateful to have met.”