LYNDON - For students that attend Lyndon State College, and Lyndon Institute, its all about obtaining a higher education. For one educator, its all about getting the full potential out of his students and building a solid foundation to be successful in their future endeavors.
Tim Ulrich, math professor at both Lyndon State College and Lyndon Institute, was recently awarded by the Vermont Educational Opportunity Programs (VEOP) as the 2016 Educator of the Year.
The award presented to Ulrich by Upward Bound director Rick Williams, honors any recipient who has made significant contributions to furthering educational opportunities for VEOP students with at least 5 years of service to the federally funded TRIO or GEAR UP community.
Ulrich a former graduate of Lyndon State believes that he didn't always know what it meant to be an educator until after he started seeing the benefit that is had on others.
"Being an educator means being selfless, giving what you have, not for your benefit but for the complete benefit of others, to have them not make the same mistakes that you did. To me it's sacrificing your complete self for others," stated Ulrich.
Although being honored with an award such as this one is quite the accolade, Ulrich doesn't focus everyday on the outcome rather the students he is teaching.
"It's just very humbling, I go about my day and help the most people i can. Awards are great but I just think about my students, because I really am nothing without my students," said Ulrich.
After all if your students aren't happy then you aren't exactly doing your job, however this isn't something that Ulrich has to deal with. "I measure my success with how happy my students are about what I am teaching them."
And according to one of his former Lyndon Institute students, he was always happy and ready to learn when it came to taking one of Ulrich's classes.
Ben Brooks, a 2013 graduate of Lyndon Institute has nothing but praise for the newly awarded educator of the year.
"He was and still is the type of guy that'll always ask you how your day is going, and was always approachable whether it was inside the classroom or not." Said Brooks.
Some students might think that all the professors care about is seeing the students achieve good grades, making it look like the professor is doing their job correctly.
However for Ulrich, the most important thing is making sure the class as a whole is learning the material and understanding it in whatever way they best can.
"He always made sure that every student understood what we were learning. Obviously making sure his students got good grades was important to him, but he really wanted to make sure that everyone understood fully what we were learning," said Brooks.
That is what it is all about for Ulrich, giving all of himself to better his students and always making sure there is no confusion once the students leave his classroom.
A dedicated, knowledgeable and skilled teacher, Ulrich's ability to approach a math problem from multiple angles allows him to teach students from various backgrounds in the subject.
"I am most proud to be put in a situation like this, where I am able to help people," said Ulrich. "I try to give back to my students, the way that both Lyndon Institute and Lyndon State College and their professors have done for me, where I have been put in a situation to help people."
Ulrich continues to reach his students on a deeper level, and strives daily to be the best he can be in his field.