Wednesday, January 30, 2008
For the sixth year in a row, a teacher from Monterey Bay Academy (MBA) has been named a “Teacher of Excellence” by the Adventist Alumni Awards Foundation (AAA). Tim Zytkoskee, MBA’s history teacher, has been honored with the award that includes a check for $1000 and a free trip to Arizona for the annual AAA awards presentation in February.
“I was surprised and extremely moved,” Zytkoskee says. “This award is really an affirmation of my career. You know, you work hard for the personal satisfaction of seeing your students learn and grow, but it’s always nice to be affirmed in what you’re doing.”
Zytkoskee has been teaching in Seventh-day Adventist schools since his first job at Caldwell SDA School in Caldwell, Idaho in 1979. Since then, he has taught at the elementary and high school levels in eight different sc hools and served as principal at three of them. He first taught at MBA from 1994 to 1997, and both of his children graduated from the school during that time. He returned to MBA in 2005 and quickly resumed his status as a student favorite. At the end of the year, the students selected him for the coveted “Faculty of the Year” award.
“I really love it here at MBA,” Zytkoskee says. “This school really gives you all the tools you need and then supports you to be creative and bring your unique gifts to the classroom. That allows me to make my classroom an open forum for interaction and keep my classes interesting with all the hilarious stories that make history fun.”
Ask any of his students and they will only confirm that Zytkoskee’s classes are both appealing and fun. Known for his avid use of PowerPoint technology and inserting pictures of MBA students into each presentation, Zytkoskee keeps his students on the edge of their seats in every class.
“Whenever I walk into his classroom I know there will never be a dull moment,” Heather Marsala, a senior from Orangevale, Calif. says. “Mr. Z takes the time to make his classes really interesting to us and he treats us like family and he relates to us. You can tell he loves and us.”
That dedication to his students is plain to see outside th e classroom as well, where Zytkoskee serves as a sponsor for the Associated Student Body government and as a coach for the girls junior varsity basketball team.
“It’s not a mistake that so many of the teachers here at MBA have won this award.” Zytkoskee says. “It really speaks to the quality of our program and the culture at our school. At MBA teachers take a genuine interest in the success of our students.”
According to Principal Tim Kubrock, who won the Teacher of Excellence award in 2005, having staff like Zytkoskee is a huge key to MBA’s continued success.
“Mr. Z fully engages his students in the learning process,” Kubrock says. “He makes learning history exciting, fun, fascinating and entertaining. He loves his job and it shows.”
Each year the teachers who are being recognized receive their awards at a banquet in their honor in Scottsdale, Arizona, which will also feature a short multi-media biography of each teacher. The teachers are nominated through their respective Conference Offices of Education and Zytkoskee is the sixth MBA teacher in a row to be recognized by the Central California Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. He follows Bob and Betty Baerg, who are now retired after 38 years at MBA, Tim Kubrock, who received the award as MBA’s history teacher and now serves as the school principal, and Steve Walls, who has taught English at MBA for 41 years and Donna Baerg, who received the award last year for her work as MBA’s math teacher. This year only 10 teachers have been selected from the thousands in the education system of the North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists (the second largest private school system in the world) and only six of these teachers work at the secondary level.