Mary Borrell, a special education teacher at Vista View Elementary, was among three outstanding individuals to receive the first-ever alumni awards presented in recognition of Minnesota Reading Corps’ 15th year and Minnesota Math Corps’ 10th year.
Award recipients were selected based on continued service after Reading Corps and Math Corps and their dedication to making a difference in their communities. Alumni who had completed their service during the 17-18 school year or earlier were eligible for the award.
Borrell served in Minnesota Reading Corps for two years at Vista View after earning a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Mankato State University.
“We're so proud of all the work Mary has done for our programs and continues to do for children and her community,” said Kelsey Cummings, a spokesperson for Minnesota Reading Corps. “We thank her for her service helping Minnesota students succeed.”
While in Reading Corps, Borrell began working on her Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) licensure through the University of St. Thomas. After her Reading Corps service ended, she was hired at Vista View in 2012, first as a 6th grade classroom teacher, then as a resource special education teacher, and finally as a teacher for students identified on the ASD spectrum.
"Mary is a teacher leader and is beloved by fellow teachers, students and their families for her warmth, ability to make personal connections and expertise," said Cindy Crawford, a reading specialist at Vista View who nominated Borrell for the award. "She is a model for both students and teachers in learning and leadership; having served as an adviser for both student leadership and patrols, a coach for Girls on the Run and now on our district Cultural Proficiency team."
Borrell also serves on the district’s Writing Steering committee, as a special education lead teacher, and as advisor to the school’s Chess Club.
“Mary continues to be an enthusiastic ambassador for Minnesota Reading Corps; welcoming and supporting our tutors and sharing her positive experience for the program,” said Crawford.
The Alumni Spirit of Service Awards were presented at the Minneapolis Convention Center on Aug. 14 in front of hundreds of people who will serve as reading or math tutors throughout the state during the upcoming school year. Borrell received a copy of “Going Places” by Paul Reynolds, who was the keynote speaker at the event, along with a certificate and alumni jacket.