Letters of Recommendation, Peer Reviews, and Student Comments
PARKS JUNIOR COLLEGE
“I refer Ms. Nancy Harris to you with my highest recommendations. I have known Ms. Harris as an instructor with me for the past year. I have found Nancy to be an enthusiastic, compassionate, creative instructor. She has stimulated my students and encourages them to be the most they can be.
My students had the pleasure of relieving instruction from Ms. Harris in the Humanities course which she implemented into our course curriculum. This course was an enlightening experience for many of my students who gained greatly from the exposure to this class. My students enjoyed it so much, that they are recommending that everyone in my department take it.
Ms. Harris is extremely well organized with all aspects of teaching. She has current syllabi and is concerned about course content and her teaching techniques. She is open-minded, a team player, and a reliable instructor.
I would strongly recommend Ms. Harris and feel that she would be an asset to any institution. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me. Sincerely,
Becky Emerson, Travel Department Chair, Parks Junior College”
“This was a dynamic class. The students participated freely; they are obviously comfortable in the class and understand their responsibility for the communication. Ms. Harris makes this interaction possible through continual contact with students. She moves about, calls students by name, pats a shoulder, and generally involves the whole class. As an accomplished presenter, Ms .Harris really integrates the class well through clear explanations, interesting examples, and general good humor showing a partnership with the students.”
Claire Davidson, English Dept Chair, Parks Jr College
“Mrs. Harris, during a recent audit of our college by Mr. Ben McPherson from Phillips College Corporate office in Gulfport, Mississippi, students made very positive comments about you and praised you for the instructional job you are doing in the classroom. Let me add my personal thanks to that comment also.”
Mr. Scott, Academic Dean, Parks Jr College
“Nancy was able to demonstrate very good interaction with students, consistently drawing a majority of the class into discussions. Ms. Harris successfully used a variety of teaching styles including the use of questions, discussion, lectures, and group interaction to stimulate class interest and enthusiasm. Nancy was obviously in tune with her class, providing a variety of experiences for her students, and was very adept at bringing closure to the class experience to determine if the class had internalized the information covered in the class period.”
Douglas Zier, Associate Dean, Parks Junior College
“I am very pleased to recommend a colleague of mine, Nancy Harris, to you. We have taught together for over a year and I have observed her interacting with both students and staff.
Nancy has high expectations of her students, joined with a genuine concern for their success. She has had extensive life experiences in many fields, which reinforces the materials she teaches. Nancy is very skilled and versatile. She is an effective guest speaker, and I have seen her take on new courses on very short notice.
With her congenial nature and abilities, Nancy will make a strong, professional addition to any staff. Sincerely, Ms. Sandra Derby, Professor, Parks Jr College
Comments from teaching peers after an in-service presentation at Parks:
“Nancy, I appreciated your energy level. It made it easy to stay with you.”
“You are a warm person who gives of herself, open and caring.” DS Sadahl
“Nancy, I enjoyed the variety of activities you shared.”
“I liked your presentation style—fun, relaxed, and you smiled a lot.”
“Very clear concise explanations.”
“I liked your sparkle!”
“Nice voice, very warm—put us at ease.”
“You were BRAVE to volunteer to be #1!”
STUDENT COMMENTS (PARKS)
Anon to dean:
“Mrs. Harris is an excellent teacher. She is very kind and I feel she is interested in the welfare of the student body. She is excited and enthusiastic about her work.”
“Mrs. Harris doesn’t stop teaching till we understand the material and I really like that.”
“Very good instructor, makes things interesting, answers questions, pays attention to her students.”
THANK YOU NOTES FROM STUDENTS (PARKS)
“If it weren’t for you, I would have dropped last quarter. You made going to school a little easier. And thank you for the talk about Sheryl Whatley. It’s helped me to deal with my feelings about her. And it’s helped me be a little more of a friend. Steph (written on card that said “Every act of kindness done makes life nicer for someone. Thinking of how kind you are and saying thank you, too, for the thoughtfulness that always seems so much a part of you!)
“Mrs. Harris is a “one-in-a-million” excellent English teacher. First of all, her ability to make the class laugh is one of her specialties and one she does very well. In order to make a point more understandable, yet reasonable, she may include a funny line, which makes her students accept the main idea more easily. Although the line may not always be amusing, her students are still able to get the idea.
Besides her terrific sense of humor, she also has a way of helping her students learn. This is not accomplished by endless screaming and yelling; instead, she allows everyone to participate in a learning process. For instance, when grading paragraphs, she lets the class combine ideas and grade each paper as a whole, thus allowing her students to get something from everyone.
But the most important part of being an excellent teacher is being smart, and Mrs. Harris also has this special trait. While she is teaching, it is obvious that she is very well-educated. This is proven through her excellent grammar usage and her ability to quickly correct students when they are wrong. Truly, with all of these traits combined, it is no wonder why Mrs. Harris is a one-in-a-million excellent teacher!” Edward Clark, Parks Jr College, English essay
UNSOLICITED STUDENT COMMENTS (Written question was: Using course vocabulary, explain how you have or haven’t been able to apply what you’ve learned about communication to your academic, work, social, and private lives.)
“Thanks so much, Nancy. I have enjoyed this class sooooo much! Also all of your personal help with my life and me— Laurie Sigler”
“I just wanted to write a little extra—I want to thank you for helping me out and understanding me. (This quarter, my personal life has been going down-hill.)” Angie Johnson
“Most of all the class was fun because the teacher who shared her knowledge was interesting, delightful, enchanting, funny, beautiful, interesting and neat. Mrs. Harris, you are the Best and Greatest teacher and person I’ve ever met! Thank you, Sweet Lady! “ Suzette Martinez
“I learned a lot about my voice and myself from you, and I hope my new coaches can be technique-wise, but also have some of your charm and wonderfulness and be as much of a kindred spirit. You have been such an exciting role model, I want to grow up to be just like you, with your love and inner joy. Thank you for everything. Love, Christine”
“I watched you sort out the “meat” of the text and use it to the advantage of most of the students in class. Many of them who come into class with a deadly fear of public speaking will look back on this class in later years and be glad they took it. I wish more of the teachers would show the professionalism and dedication you have in completing a difficult assignment. You are a unique individual and I thoroughly enjoyed your class.”
“Thank you, Mrs. Harris, for being such a conscientious teacher. You were exactly the type of teacher I needed to absorb this information, and after all, nothing worthwhile is easy!” Betty Kelly
“Coming into this class, I didn’t think I would like it; I was wrong. I have enjoyed what we learned very much and would recommend the class to anyone who uses language. “ Kristi Pouthitt, July ‘87
“I believe that many of the things presented to me during this class, whether from Ms Harris—an interesting and informative and knowledgeable teacher—or from my classmates, has been helpful.” Marie Corbett July ‘87
“You are a very good teacher and I wish you all the luck in the world. I hope you keep teaching so other students will have the benefit of your knowledge.” Joanne Thomas July 87
“The atmosphere of your class seemed a lot less pressured. It was easy to get to know my classmates because everyone seemed more relaxed (except, of course, when they were up there in front). Your teaching and professionalism were some of the best I have seen. No, I am not just trying to flatter you. You have a likable easy- going personality that did this student some good. “ Barbara Coombs
“I have learned a lot more in your class than my grades may show, but I’m learning how to learn after a long absence in home life. Thank you for being such a caring teacher, and a good teacher – you know your stuff! Hope to have you again—“ Doris Holloway
“This class has been very informative and applicable to all parts of my life, professional and personal. I am no longer resentful and feel I now have a more open-minded view of people. Thank you for your caring and concern that each one of us be successful and better communicators.” Sandy Sisneros Jul 87
“(This is not a snow job.) I am so glad I came back to school. The two teachers I have are the greatest!! Ms Robins and Mrs. Harris appear to have so much energy and are so bubbly nearly all of the time.”
“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this class. I have built up confidence when speaking to a group. I actually like giving speeches now. Too bad it’s over already. (Oh, Yeah, our teacher--she knows what she’s doing, and she does it well!)” Nanette Romero
“I appreciate Mrs. Harris for helping me to understand myself. God Bless You!”
“I have found out that I like this class more and more all the time because Mrs. Harris makes this a fun class and she takes the pressure off a lot of times.”
“Thanks! Mrs. Harris, I enjoyed my Student Survival and I really have leard a lot.” Shari
“Mrs. Harris, I would like to thank you for all you have done for me in the past 12 weeks. You have taught me a great deal. I have learned how to write notes, do my goals, and take tests. I have learned a great deal on brainstorming. I never knew how. You have taught me how to spell a lot better in the time I have been in clas. You have made me feel like I am a new person, and that makes me feel like I want to come to school and learn all I can about a(being) a master student. Thank you.” Robert Grant June ‘88
“Nancy, a personal note to thank you for your skills and patience. Don’t give up on me; your teaching of English is impeccable. I’m just slow getting English into my memory channels. You’re a great teacher! Thanks, PDB”
UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO
“It is my understanding that Nancy Harris is being considered for a voice position at UCD, and it is a pleasure to write a reference letter for her.
While Ms. Harris was pursuing a Master of Humanities, I was on her committee and had frequent opportuniites to observe her work. She is a marture, articulate person with a warm personality and an incisive, inquiring mind. She took the vocal pedagogy course in anatomy and acoustics and an independent study project in voice class techniques, and did extremely well in both areas.
Ms. Harris has a rich, well-schooled voice which she uses with imagination and individuality in almost any musical idiom. She is intensely interested in the arts and has a firm belief in their importance to a humanistic society. I believe Nancy Harris would be a great asset on your faculty and I recommend her highly. Sincerely, Barbara M. Doscher, Associate Professor of Voice, Un of Colo, Boulder”
“This letter is being written in recommendation of Ms. Nancy Harris, who is applying for one of two positions in the English Department. She has applied for a permanent faculty position ot teach English, or Speech and Drama.
Ms. Harris will be a very strong adition to the faculty at ACC. She is an excellent teacher, very conscientious, and truly loves to impart her knowledge of English and Speech and Drama in a positive and productive manner to her students. She makes learning fun and relevant, and clearly shows why and how good English skills are important in everyday life. She assisted me in producing a monthly newsletter, and provided invaluable insight into my writing and English usage. She taught me to be concise, crisp, and well-organized in my writing. I thought I had good writing skills before, but Ms. Harris showed me a whole new appreciation of the English language.
Ms. Harris has a very strong work ethic, and approaches her work with dedication. She is the kind of person who pitches in and contributes to the whole organization. I recommend her very highly. Very Truly,
Linda W. Capra, Assistant to the Dean, Graduate School of Public Affairs, Un of Colo at Denver”
“Dear Roy (Pritts, Dean College of Msic UCD): this is to recommend Nancy Harris to you as a teacher in the college of Music for 1985-1986.
I have known Nancy now for several years, first as a graduate student, and most recently as a professional colleague. As a student, Nancy consistently accomplished work of the highest quality, both academically and artistically. Her deep understanding of history and theory is quite readily and successfully translated into practice. Her Master’s Thesis Project on lullabies, for instance, is an exemplary piece of work for students, educators, and fellow performers.
Given our common interest in providing quality work for children, Nancy and I designed and recorded an album of songs, stories, and poetry intended for a child audience, last summer. Last month, we completed a second similar album. Throughout all phases of these projects, working with Nancy proved to be highly beneficial for both of us. She has a firm and clear sense of quality and excellence and the willingness and ability to achieve them—as a planner and as a performer.
There is no doubt in my mind that anyone working with Nancy will have a unique opportunity to seek and achieve the richest kind of value in their work. I recommend her with no reservation. Sincerely,
Brad Bowles, Professor, College of Theatre, Univ of Colo at Denver”
COLORADO INSTITUTE OF ART
“I am pleased to write this letter of recommendation of behalf of Nancy Harris regarding her application to the Gould Voice Center’s Summer Vocology Institute. Nancy has worked with me in the General Education Department of the Art Institute of Colorado (AiC) since January of 1991. I fondly refer to her as my “Renaissance woman” because she has taught such a variety of courses including Art History, Humanities, Western Civilization to 1600, Speech, English Composition, and College Math [plus Sociology, Communications, Music Appreciation, Computer Science, Acting & Movement for Animators}.
Nancy’s love of learning and passion for teaching is contagious to students, colleagues, and administrators. She possesses a strong sense of ethics an professionalism, and is very accomplished in her greatest passion and field of study – music, theatre, and voice. Nancy places high expectations on each of her students and is very committed to creating a student-centered/active-learning environment. Her quarterly student course evaluations are exemplary. Nancy is an excellent instructor and truly an asset to the Art Institute and General Education team. I have also had the privilege of experiencing Nancy’s theatrical performances and I am extremely impressed with her acting and musical talents.
Recently, Nancy informed me of her desire to pursue graduate studies in vocology through your institution, and she is very enthusiastic and excited about her educational goals. From a professional and personal perspective, I have no doubt that Nancy will be successful in accomplishing any dream she undertakes. She is very intelligent and has repeatedly demonstrated that she possesses both advanced scholarly ability and creativity, which seem to stem from her inner quest for lifelong learning and personal pride in whatever task she undertakes. She possesses a strong sense of self, a calm disposition, and a cheerful willingness to help others. Furthermore, her voice is beautiful and strong, and I feel that the scientific knowledge she will acquire while attending your Summer Vocology Institute will be very beneficial to her, and therefore, to her music and AiC students. I believe she is an excellent candidate for your program.
If you require additional information, please do not hesitate to contact me. Sincerely,
Lynnda Upton, Director of General Education, The Art institute of Colorado
(On eval) “Nancy is a valued member of the GE team. Her passion for sharing her knowledge with students and challenging them to make each course a tribute to their own efforts and accomplishments are attributes possessed by educators! THANKS! Lynnda Upton”
“Nancy is an amazing teacher. Many students come to me to tell me personally how wonderful she is and how she inspires others. Nancy is an asset to the GET team and AiC. She is passionate and caring about student success. Thanks!” 1/25/02 Lynnda Upton
“During observations, Nancy continues to present material in a clear and easy manner that involves the students. She makes students think critically, giving them as much chance as possible to be successful.
Carolyn Varvel, Teacher Development, AiC, Jan 2002”
OTHER REFERRAL LETTERS
“I understand that Nancy Harris is being considered for a position at the University of Colorado at Denver.
Nancy has worked for my program for a number of years. Her work was conscientious and creative. Her skills in developing and carrying out programs were exceptional. Her teaching ability, excellent.
Nancy Harris would be a very positive addition to your staff. I whole-heartedly recommend her for your program. Sincerely, Diana Flahive, Coordinator, Gove Community School, Denver Public Schools”