School board honors teacher of the year: Dean Nelson
There is no one more deserving of the Emery School District Teacher of the Year Award than Emery High School's Dean Nelson. Nelson teaches French and English at Emery High School and is just completing his 33rd year of teaching. Thirty-one of those years in the Emery County School District.
"Coach Dean" as he is lovingly referred to, is a kind and humble person. His principal, Larry Davis says, "Honestly, I can't remember him ever saying anything negative about another person. The only time I've ever seen him upset was when he was frustrated at himself for some frivolous oversight. His humility is refreshing in this era of self-aggrandizement."
More than anything else, however, Coach Dean is a superstar teacher who cares about his students, their education, and Emery High School. You always know that, with Coach Dean as a teacher, the students always get 100 percent. His students and colleagues respect him and acknowledge long after they have left Emery High how much he has meant to them.
It is inspiring to see him work with troubled kids, and how his soft-spoken approach can soften the most obstinate challenge.
In addition, he is one of the most respected coaches in the state and has inspired many a young student/athlete to compete with dignity and respect for the opponent. Even after his coaching days came to an end, he continues to support and inspire our teams and athletes.
Despite some health issues coming into this school year, Coach Dean has been willing to take on the new challenge of teaching honors English classes. He has recognized his limitations with this assignment and has worked hard to learn the curriculum and find unique ways to inspire his students so that they may have a quality education.
He is a team player, always willing to do what he can for kids.
"It is a pleasure for the Emery County School District Administration and Board of Education to honor this extraordinary gentleman teacher. His service to our school district and to the thousands of students he has touched is nothing short of outstanding," said Laurel Johansen, board president.
Nelson said, "I feel fortunate to have been born and raised in Emery County. Education has always been important in my family as my father taught 35 years in the local school system. having several close relatives, who along with my father and several very special teachers in elementary, junior high and high school had a significant influence on my becoming a teacher.
"I attended Ferron Elementary, South Emery Junior High, Emery High, Snow College and Brigham Young University where I earned a B.S. degree in sociology. In spite of the wonderful education I received in our local schools, my most significant educational experience happened at Snow College when I met my wife, LaRita. She is a resource teacher at Ferron Elementary and definitely the best educational choice I have ever made.
"I have taught French, language arts, sociology, and athletics. I consider myself extremely fortunate to have associated with excellent teachers, many of whom have served as mentors, outstanding secretaries, administrators, support staff, and cream of the crop students. I was once elected to be the president of the Girl Hater's Club in fifth grade at Ferron Elementary.
"My hobbies and interests include following BYU athletics, the outdoors, and especially being with family. My students will tell you two things I definitely don't do is sing and dance.
"LaRita and I have been married 38 years and that has brought us much happiness, along with five children, 15 grandchildren with two more on the way. I have many special associations with fellow educators, students, parents, and friends in the community at large," said Coach Dean