Two teachers were presented with gifts in honor of their recognitions during the USD 490 Board of Education meeting this month.

Two teachers were presented with gifts in honor of their recognitions during the USD 490 Board of Education meeting this month.

Martin Munuz, band instructor, was recognized for being the District Teacher of the Year.

“He is an excellent example of a dynamic teacher who gets the best out of all of his students,” the nomination letter stated.

The letter went on to state as an outsider looking in the band program looks phenomenal.

“When I listen to the pep band or drum line, I marvel at the time and energy it takes to get such a magnificent performance,” the letter continued.

Munoz began his teaching career in Oxford, where he taught music. From there he went to Wichita Collegiate, where he created and implemented the school’s first drum line. He came to El Dorado in 2008 and under his direction, fifth through 12th grade band participation has doubled in size, with the high school band and drum line receiving numerous awards.

Munoz also has received the El Dorado Chamber of Commerce School Bell Award.

“I did want to tell you why I became an educator,” he said, “and thank you for this wonderful award. I never imagined I would achieve such an honor. I did not become an educator expecting any kind of recognition.”

He said he was raised to be humble and preferred his students get the recognition.

“I actually became an educator because of an educator,” he said.

That teacher was his junior high band and choir director. He said hew as a quiet kid and got lost in the crowd of his nine brothers and sisters.

“My mom worked very hard to give us just the bare necessities,” he said.

When he was in school his music teacher saw potential in him.

“I couldn’t wait to get to music class,” he said. “I had fun in my music classes.”

He also said the teacher was always quick to point out life lessons related to class.

“From that very young age I knew that was I wanted to do,” he said. “Today after 15 years in education I can truly say I love what I do,” Munoz said.

He also incorporates more than just music in his classes. He said students also learn math, science, foreign language, cooperating, physical fitness, work ethic, participation and engagement.

“And along the way we also play some great music,” he said.

The board also recognized Connie Allmond, who teaches

She was one of the Teacher of the Year nominees. Allmond began her career in Augusta and came to El Dorado Middle School in 1999 as an eighth grade disabilities teacher, then moved to sixth grade, where she is an adaptive learning teacher, a position she still holds.

Her nomination letter said she was “very passionate and shows a great depth of caring for her students. It is important for her that her students are successful in all areas, not just in school.”

She also is a board member of Alpha Delta Kappa and works with the ARC of Butler County. Her previous honors include being Walmart Teacher of the Year, El Dorado Times Teacher of the Year, earning the You Make a Difference Award and being Circle of Friends Sponsor of the Year twice.

The second teacher of the year nominee was Dawn Rush, a seventh grade science teacher, although she was unable to attend the meeting.