Coach Stephens Wins “Teacher of the Year” Honor

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Wrestling Coach Gordon Stephens was recently awarded the 2023-2024 Teacher of the Year honor – presented by Principal Maroney   Friday afternoon.

Stephens serves as a role model to many Lamar students. He is well-loved because of his charismatic personality and his determined spirit.

When he learned of the honor last Friday afternoon, he was surrounded with love and support from the girl’s wrestling team.

“I’m very humbled,” Stephens says. “There were a lot of great candidates that were nominated for Teacher of the Year, so this is such a great honor for me to experience.”

Students and staff who have met Stephens will agree that he is an humble, caring and soft spoken man with great pride. This is Stephens’ second Teacher of the Year honor during his 18 years at Lamar. He last won during the 2014- 2015 school year. After nine years, he regained his title by keeping his head held high and doing what he does best – being himself.

“I think it was well deserved,” girl’s wrestling Captain Kaylynn Lairson shares. “He really deserves this highlight and spotlight. He’s extremely humble about this award and honestly, I wouldn’t give this title to anyone else and I can’t express how how happy I am for him.”

The girl wrestlers were with Stephens in his classroom to celebrate the honor on Friday. They cheered him on, screaming and hugging him out of pure joy. This is an experience that the athletes and Stephens will always remember.

“He supports you and your decisions everyday – no doubt about it,” freshman Maya Cobos says. He’s really smart and is a very gentle man with good intentions. If you need someone to talk to and just be there for you, you can always count on him to be there.” 

Stephens is a man of great morals and values. This shows in his teaching style, as he is very much the disciplinarian and the innovative teacher. He pushes his students to the max and encourages them to always get better. Stephens knows what his students are capable of and wants to see them become successful young ladies and men. He sees the support he receives from his students and colleagues and wants to give that same support right back to them. 

“To be able to celebrate my accomplishment with my team was a fantastic experience,” Stephens expresses. “I’m so excited I’m able to enjoy this with the team and with Coach Roberts. The atmosphere was a real joy and made me feel special.” 

It’s not uncommon to hear Stephens’ athletes share great stories about him. He is not only a true leader, but a real advocate for the team. 

“He has his own goals and expresses them to us,” Lairson adds. “He helps keep us in line, but we also have so much fun with him. We’ve even made a few jokes about him. We call him Baymax from Big Hero 6 because he’s just a joyful character. Our team loves and appreciates everything he’s done for us and I hope others can experience just how wonderful of a person he actually is.”

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