Swing Education, a staffing application connecting schools to substitute teachers, has selected three exemplary educators to join its Substitute Teacher Hall of Fame. The 2021 class of inductees – Wanda Drayton, Marcella Kerbein, and Valerie Pierce – were selected among substitute teachers from across the country for their outstanding work as educators and their notable contributions to the students, teachers, and schools they serve.
“Day-in and day-out, substitute teachers play such an important role in their school communities,” said Mike Teng, CEO of Swing Education. “This year’s Substitute Teacher Hall of Fame inductees are truly standout educators in the profession who, like so many other substitute teachers out there, continue to make such a measurable impact through their hard work and dedication.”
The 2021 inductees were chosen based on their impact on students and the greater school community, track record of going above and beyond, reliability, and more. The inductees were nominated by students, parents, fellow educators, and/or administrators for this recognition.
Each inductee will receive a prize package that includes a $500 cash award, $250 for professional development or school supplies, and a commemorative plaque.
This year’s inductees include:
Wanda Drayton, substitute teacher in the San Francisco Bay Area of California
“Wanda is instrumental in running my classes during this pandemic,” said a colleague of Drayton. “I was teaching from home while she was in the classroom running things with on-campus students. I think of her as a co-teacher because without her my class would not have been able to function.”
“The kids absolutely love and respect her. And, teachers know they can depend on her to go above and beyond what is asked,” added Drayton’s colleague.
“Education has always been a passion of mine. Making an impact on students by meeting their needs, coupled with supporting teachers who must be out of the classroom for varying lengths of time, allows for uninterrupted learning,” said Drayton. “I also love the flexibility and multiple benefits that substitute teaching provides. It affords me the opportunity to engage with different schools in various districts, gain experience with diverse cultures, and, equally important, it allows me to give back to the community. It is my desire to continue on this journey on an international level.”
Marcella Kerbein, substitute teacher in Oakland, California
“Marcella has supported our schools in administering the ELPAC test during the pandemic,” said a supervisor of Kerbein. “She has been flexible, patient, kind, and professional. On our team, she has demonstrated that she really understands how to make sure students are learning and growing.”
“I’ve been teaching for more than 25 year in various capacities – from being a gardening teacher to yoga teacher to preschool teacher – and appreciate the flexibility and dynamic nature of substitute teaching,” said Kerbein. “I try my very best to leave a good impression on the students and staff I work with and to be as kind and empathetic as possible – everyone can use more kindness these days!”
Valerie Pierce, substitute teacher in East Orange, New Jersey
“Ms. Pierce goes above and beyond with helping staff and students inside and outside of the classroom, and has become a member of the school family in the two school years she’s been with us,” said a colleague of Pierce. “She has a great personality, is amazing with students, and is very knowledgeable about the curriculum and how to successfully implement it.”
“I love being a substitute,” said Pierce. “Substitute teaching has given me the opportunity to work in varying schools and grade levels. These experiences are helping me to develop my teaching style and now I know elementary students are who I want to teach in the classroom.”