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Substitute Teacher

In celebration of Teacher Appreciation Week: May 3, 2021 – May 7, 2021

Hall of Fame

Submit nominations: April 6, 2021 – April 25, 2021
Winners announced: May 7, 2021

To honor substitute teachers who are making a difference in the lives of students, and in celebration of National Substitute Teacher Appreciation Week, Swing Education is celebrating the Third Annual Substitute Teacher Hall of Fame.

Scroll down for the 2021 winners!

Eligibility requirements

To be considered for the Substitute Teacher Hall of Fame, a nominee must:

  1. Live in the United States

  2. Have at least one year of K-12 classroom teaching experience

  3. Have subbed at least one day in a K-12 district, charter or
    private school in the 2020-2021 academic year

  4. Students, parents, administrators and current or former educators 
    (including substitute teachers) can submit nominations

Nominations should include:

  • The nominee's name, contact information and location

  • Short description detailing why you are nominating the teacher 

  • Short description detailing the impact he or she has had on a school

  • Short anecdote describing that impact (no student names please)

  • Optional 10-15 second “Thank you” video to be shared with subs


Inductees into the Substitute Teacher Hall of Fame will receive:

  • Commemorative plaque 

  • $500 cash award

  • $250 award for professional development or school supplies

2021 Inductees

Announcing the inductees to the 2021 Substitute Teacher Hall of Fame! We are excited to spotlight three exemplary substitute teachers.

Marcella Kerbein HOF Winner.png

Marcella Kerbein

Northern California

Marcella has been a teacher for over 10 years. She is currently a substitute teacher with Swing in the Bay Area, CA.

“Marcella has supported our schools in administering the ELPAC test during the pandemic,” said a supervisor of Kerbein. “She has been flexible, patient, kind, and professional. On our team, she has demonstrated that she really understands how to make sure students are learning and growing.”

“I've been teaching for more than 25 year in various capacities – from being a gardening teacher to yoga teacher to preschool teacher – and appreciate the flexibility and dynamic nature of substitute teaching,” said Kerbein. “I try my very best to leave a good impression on the students and staff I work with and to be as kind and empathetic as possible – everyone can use more kindness these days!”

Valerie is a SwingSub and has been teaching for over 3 years. Her preferred instruction is student-centered through kinesthetic learning.

“Ms. Pierce goes above and beyond with helping staff and students inside and outside of the classroom, and has become a member of the school family in the two school years she's been with us,” said a colleague of Pierce. “She has a great personality, is amazing with students, and is very knowledgeable about the curriculum and how to successfully implement it.”

“I love being a substitute,” said Pierce. “Substitute teaching has given me the opportunity to work in varying schools and grade levels. These experiences are helping me to develop my teaching style and now I know elementary students are who I want to teach in the classroom.”

Valerie Pierce HOF winner.png

Valerie Pierce

New Jersey

Wanda Drayton HOF winner.png

Wanda Drayton

Northern California

Wanda is a SwingSub and has been teaching for over 5 years. She's taught almost 200 classes with Swing.

“Wanda is instrumental in running my classes during this pandemic,” said a colleague of Drayton. “I was teaching from home while she was in the classroom running things with on-campus students. I think of her as a co-teacher because without her my class would not have been able to function.”

“The kids absolutely love and respect her. And, teachers know they can depend on her to go above and beyond what is asked,” added Drayton’s colleague.

Past winners

These educators were selected for their outstanding contributions to the students, teachers, and schools they serve.


Sheeja Mathews

Sheeja has been a teacher for over 10 years. She is currently a substitute teacher with Swing at multiple schools in Bergen County, NJ.


Jennifer Rutledge

Jennifer was a substitute teacher in Mt. Vernon, IL and started as a first grade classroom teacher when the 2020-2021 school year began.


Jim Strang

Jim has been a substitute teacher in Avon, OH for over 12 years.


Valerie Aduba

Valerie teaches at multiple schools in Sacramento, CA. Catch up with Valerie in her recent interview.


Michael Packard

Michael is a substitute teacher at The Renaissance Academy in Phoenixville, PA.


Ralph Starace

Ralph is a substitute teacher at Sussex County Technical School in Sparta, NJ.

Questions? Get in touch at community@swingeducation.com

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