TOWNSHEND — Karren Meyer, the driver education teacher at Leland & Gray Union Middle and High School, is a National Teacher of Excellence Award recipient.
Lindsey Townshend from the Vermont Governor’s Youth Safety Council, who nominated Meyer for the American Driver Traffic Safety Education Association’s national award, said, “There was never any doubt in my mind that Karren wouldn’t be selected. Karren is inventive, creative, has a great presence, and has helped her school and community support driver education. These are essential and critical things in today’s world.”
Yearly, every state nominates one teacher for the award. Of the 50 nominees, up to four can be presented with a National Teacher of Excellence Award. In 2019 Meyer’s commitment to excellence was recognized when she was named the Southern Vermont Driver Educator of the Year, and in 2020 she was the recipient of the Vermont Driver Education Teacher of the Year.
Windham County Sheriff’s Deputy Mike Roj said, “Most adults can look back on their high school experience and identify that one teacher who made an impact on their lives. That one adult who was the perfect role model and inspired them to accomplish more than they thought possible. The person that took an interest in them and left them with lasting memories. Karren Meyer is that teacher. When I think about Karren’s teaching style, the first thing that comes to mind is passionate commitment.”
For six years, Deputy Roj has been working with Meyer’s students. Sharing the law enforcement’s perspective on highway safety, Deputy Roj spends time in driver education classrooms throughout the state.
Micky Parker Jennings, parent and teaching principal at Windham Elementary School, said, “If anyone deserves this award, Karren does. Fortunately for me, two of my children have had Karren as their driver education instructor. Karren is the type of individual that will do anything to help her students be successful. She is selfless and ready to give her time at a moment’s notice.”
L&G Principal Bob Thibault said that “Karren Meyer is top-notch — no one cares more about driver training and safety than her. She pours her heart and soul into her work and the results speak for themselves.”
As one of four National Teacher of Excellence Award winners, Meyer will be honored at a luncheon sponsored by National Road Safety Foundation at the American Driver Traffic Safety Education Association’s National Conference in Knoxville, Tennessee. All four award recipients will make presentations at the national conference.
When asked about the award, Meyer said, “I love teaching driver education. It truly is my passion. I teach driver education because I know first hand that parents can not handle losing a child.”
When Karren was in high school, her brother was struck and killed by a motor vehicle hit and run. Three months later, overwrought with grief, her father took his own life. According to Karren, “That driver destroyed my family. I don’t want any family to have to go through what my family endured.”