GIPS Foundation names Teacher of the Year winners

Education graphic by MGN.
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GRAND ISLAND, Neb. — The Grand Island Public Schools Foundation awarded six GIPS teachers with a special honor during the All-Staff Welcome Back ceremony on Aug. 9.

Six GIPS staff were honored in categories including elementary, middle and high school teacher, specialist, staff member and administrator of the year.

This year, parents, colleagues and students sent in more than 1,000 nominations to the Foundation for 337 individuals. The program is sponsored by First National Bank.

Elementary Teacher of the Year was awarded to Bianca Ayala, an English Language Arts teacher at Howard Elementary.

Middle school Teacher of the Year was awarded to Lori Coble, a math teacher at Walnut Middle School.

High school Teacher of the Year was awarded to Jeff Vyhlidal, a vocal music teacher at Grand Island Senior High.

Specialist of the Year was awarded to Angie Runquist, a school social worker at Skills Academy at Success Academy.

Non-Teaching Staff Member of the Year was awarded to Pat Tatro, a para-professional at Wasmer Elementary.

The Administrator of the Year was awarded to Selena Wardyn, an assistant principal at Walnut Middle School.

Each winner was given a framed certificate and was greeted by family after being awarded.