Bonanza Junior/Senior High School math teacher Mallory Drake was named the local Veteran of Foreign Wars Post 1383’s Citizenship Education Teacher of the Year last week during a ceremony in front of the student body.

Duane Whitehead, commander of VFW Post 1383, and Ron Johnson, chair of the local post’s award programs, presented Drake with the award. As the local winner, Drake will be entered into the district-level judging. District winners then compete at the state level.

Drake was nominated by Bonanza’s Principal Jordan Osborn and Vice Principal Sergio Cisneros. The award highlights teachers who promote civic responsibility and patriotism. Last year, when Bonanza staff were asked to teach about significant figures displayed on a new mural at the school, Drake chose the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, discussing with students about service and the importance of the historic monument located at the Arlington National Cemetery.

She also inspires students in the classroom. “She is amongst the best I’ve seen for truly differentiating her instruction to meet the diverse needs of her students,” Cisneros said.

“(Mallory Drake) displays the burning desire to successfully inspire each of her students to learn, and that always makes a visit to her classroom energizing,” Osborn and Cisneros in Drake’s nomination letter. “She exemplifies what it means to be an outstanding teacher, exuding passion, initiative, creativity, and determination while inspiring others towards excellence in education.”