• Teachers of the Year Named

    Neal Wolcott, Jessica Messmer and Teresa Martinez have been named the Westminster Elks Teachers of the Year. All three were praised as educators who connect with their students and go the extra mile to help their children succeed.

    The three were nominated by their school principal and selected from a list of possible candidates by last year’s winners. They were notified of the honor this week and the Insider was at Sunset Ridge Elementary when Wolcott was notified that he had been selected for the honor.

    The trio will be honored by the Elks on March 18 at the Elks Lodge from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm where they will all be given an honorary plaque and a donation will be made in their name. This spring, the Insider will provide a video profile of each recipient so you can learn more about what makes them such special educators.

    Below are some of the remarks submitted by their principals:


    Neal Wolcott - Sunset Ridge Elementary

    “Neal Wolcott is a caring, thoughtful and helpful person who has built many strong relationships with the students and staff of Sunset Ridge Elementary and across District 50.”

    “His genuine interest and concern for children is a true strength.”


    Jessica Messmer - Westminster High School

    “Jess Messmer has super hero-like abilities to make all things seem possible. It appears there must be multiple copies of her running around the building because she is involved in so much.”

    “She raises the bar for all those around her and makes us work harder just trying to keep up with her.”


    Teresa Martinez - Westminster High School

    “Few professionals can bring out the absolute best in every child. Teresa Martinez is one who does, somehow, all while keeping her class safe, fun and exciting.”

    “Teresa Martinez embodies a spirit of effective teaching and learning that not only moves students forward, it shapes lives forever in a positive way.”

    Posted March 13, 2014