Beam surprised as WY teacher of the year

Walter L. Sprague, Arts and Culture Reporter

Wyoming Superintendent of Public Instruction Brian Schroeder, Zach’s father Brian Beam, Newcastle Science Teacher Zach Beam, Zach’s wife Crystal Beam, Weston County School District #1 Superintendent Brad LaCroix,  and Newcastle High School Principal Bryce Hoffman.

A short ceremony in Crouch Auditorium on Sept.  22 became a big surprise for one high school teacher. The reason for the assembly, kept under wraps, became quickly apparent.

After the Pledge of Allegiance, Newcastle High School Principal Bryce Hoffman introduced Wyoming Superintendent of Public Instruction Brian Schroeder.

Then the secret was out. Schroeder introduced the 2023 Wyoming Teacher of the Year. That person is science teacher Zach Beam. A loud cheer from students and staff rang out as Beam made his way to the stage, clearly surprised at the announcement. 

Not surprised, though, were Beam's wife, Crystal, and father, Brian, who were let in on the secret beforehand. Both proudly stood on stage with Beam as he received a plaque from Schroeder. Beam made a short but heartfelt speech of thanks and appreciation for the Wyoming Department of Education award.

"His love for the subject matter and his persistence to figure out a way to get the point of his lessons across are great," Schroeder said, "Sometimes he changes up the lesson two or three times for it to make sense to them (students)."

Schroeder spoke of Beam’s commitment to science, his desire to make it exciting for the students, plus his love for the students and staff he works with as some of the reasons he obtained this honor.

"Mr. Beam is a fantastic teacher," Hoffman said, "He is so deserving of the recognition and the honor."

Beam admitted to being surprised by the whole thing. Earlier this year, he was named District Teacher of the Year.   Unlike this time, he knew of that honor beforehand.

"I had no idea this was going to happen," he said. "Apparently, others did, though," he said, as he looked wryly at his wife and father.

"He does so much for his students," Crystal Beam said. "I'm so happy for him. I think he deserves it all the way."

"I'm so proud of him," Brian Beam said. "It's so cool to see him succeed this way. We often talk about his classes. He has such a passion for his students, and we often discuss ways to get the point across to them."

After the ceremony, students and staff enjoyed cake in the commons. 


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