Liberty High School teacher receives 2018 Yale Educator Award

Steve Darnell was nominated by former student for the award.

Steve Darnell, a U.S. history teacher at Liberty High School, recently received the 2018 Yale Educator Award.

Nominated by former student, Christina Tuttle, the award recognizes teachers and counselors from around the world who inspire and support students.

The Yale University Class of 2022 were asked to nominate outstanding educators who have deeply influenced their lives.

Darnell was Tuttle’s AP U.S. history teacher and National Honor Society club advisor while she was at Liberty High School.

She said she received an email encouraging new students to nominate a teacher who had the most influence on their education.

For Tuttle, while it was difficult to choose among many great teachers, said she chose Darnell because of how he challenged students to think critically “rather than just memorize information.”

“On the first day of APUSH, Mr. Darnell called me a ‘sponge.’ While this may seem like an odd label, Mr. Darnell equated this kitchen cleaning aid to a certain type of student: someone who aims only to absorb information,” she said in her nomination. “Mr. Darnell was right—until that year, my only focus in school was achieving high grades, not truly learning. Yet, thanks to Mr. Darnell, my approach to education completely shifted.”

Tuttle said Darnell changed her mindset as a studen.

“Mr. Darnell’s high expectations motivated me to work harder, striving for goals I once thought unreachable,” she said. “Thanks to Mr. Darnell, I am no longer a ‘sponge.’ Now, I am an unstoppable critical thinker, confident in my ability to overcome any intellectual challenge I encounter.”

Through Tuttle’s nomination, the Yale Office of Undergraduate Admissions awarded Darnell with the 2018 Yale Educator Award.

Darnell received the award – a letter and engraved desk set.

He said he didn’t know there was such an award and much less didn’t expect to receive it.

“I was like, ‘Oh my gosh!’ when I first got the email,” he said.

For Darnell, receiving the award serves as a testament to good teachers and how they can have a large influence on a student’s life.

“You know, as a teacher, you don’t always get to see how your teaching influences your students,” he said. “This just really reinforces what we’re doing and why we’re doing it.”

More in News

Following the hour-long lockdown, Issaquah High School students were excused from their first period and parents were allowed to freely excuse their children for the rest of the day. Reporter File Photo
UPDATE: No gun found after four-school lockdown in Issaquah

Police did not find a weapon after taking a 14-year-old student into custody at Issaquah High.

Mary Lynn Pannen, founder and CEO of Sound Options, has consulted thousands of Washington families on geriatric care for 30 years. Photo courtesy of Sound Options.
Elder abuse cases are on the rise in Washington

Local agencies and geriatric care managers aim to increase public awareness about the epidemic.

Issaquah submits annual floodplain mangement report to FEMA

Issaquah submits the annual floodplain management report to FEMA for certification.

UPDATED: Issaquah School District denies lawsuit allegations

Formal response filed in King County Superior Court.

Shigellosis outbreak at Cascade Ridge Elementary School

16 people have come down with Shigellosis at Cascade Ridge Elementary School.

The King County Library System Foundation is awarded a grant from Boeing

KCLSF receives an $80,000 grant from the Boeing Company

Police say porch piracy is primarily a crime of opportunity. Many criminals will see a package as they pass by and make quick, easy money. Kailan Manandic, photo illustration
‘Porch pirates’ plunder local packages

Eastside police departments spoke on the ‘porch pirate’ problem and ask locals to report the crime.

Sound Publishing file photo
Issaquah wants feedback on potential dog park location

Issaquah is looking for citizen feedback on where they would like a new dog park in the city.

“Matilda the Musical” shares the magic at Village Theatre. Photo by 2018 Mark Kitaoka. Courtesy of Village Theatre.
“Matilda the Musical” shares the magic this holiday season at Village Theatre

The Roald Dahl classic story is making its first west coast premiere in Issaquah and Everett.

The Eastside strike team consisted of a dozen firefighters from local cities. They assisted with small brush fires and watched over a small community near Malibu as a fire raged on a nearby hillside. Photos courtesy of Jeff Storey and Dave McDaniel
Local firefighters aid in California wildfires

Firefighters from Eastside Fire & Rescue, Snoqualmie, Fall City and Duvall fire departments assisted.

Romaine lettuce, beef recalled just before Thanksgiving

23 people have been infected with a Shiga toxin-producing E. coli bacteria in 11 states.

The segment of SE 60th Street marked in red is the area that will be affected by the speed limit reduction from 35 to 30 mph. Courtesy Image.
King County considering speed reduction on Southeast 60th Street

Public comments and feedback accepted through Nov. 27.