By Richard Bammer
Just why Valerie Blanchard was selected as Vacaville Unified’s 2015 Teacher of the Year could be surmised Friday in the hallway outside of Room No. 4 at Orchard Elementary, where she teaches 24 third-graders.
There, parent-volunteer Amy Roderick, who had just finished helping several students with an astronomy lesson, praised the longtime educator for one specific characteristic that all great teachers share: the ability to form strong relationships with their students and show that they care about them as people.
“She knows their personalities,” said Roderick, whose daughter, Hannah, is her second child in Blanchard’s class. Her son preceded Hannah in the class, but, she divulged, “He was lazy.”