Going above and beyond

Ciuba honored to receive Rider award


Rider Media

Kristy Ciuba was named Rider’s Teacher of the Year for 2020-21.

Sara Pratt , Reporter

Like most young kids, Kristy Ciuba used to play school when she was little. 

But it wasn’t until Ciuba was in third grade at Crockett Elementary that she knew she wanted to be a teacher. 

“I thought I had the best teacher in the world,” Ciuba said. “And when I started playing sports in sixth grade, I decided I also wanted to coach. The love for teaching came first.” 

Ciuba has made her own impact at Rider High School, recently earning the school’s Teacher of the Year award. 

“It was really special and meant a lot because my colleagues felt this was a fitting award,” Ciuba said. “I truly love all the people that I work with. For them to vote me for this felt special.” 

Assistant principal Falesha Wood, who has worked with Ciuba for nine years, said that it came as no surprise to her that Ciuba won this honor. 

“Ciuba is super organized, thorough and intentional with the things that she does,” Wood said. “She is a very hard worker and very intentional with each and every student. That is very time-consuming to do, and the most important thing a teacher can do is to get to know every kid and get to know their deficiencies. I think she does that well.” 

Not only does Ciuba go above and beyond in school, but she also carries this dedication outside of school, according to head volleyball coach Alysha Humpert, who considers Ciuba a close friend. 

“I definitely think it’s well-deserved because I have seen her go above and beyond the call of duty,” Humpert said. “Whether it is going to watch girls at a play at the Backdoor Theatre, Pennies for PETS or she is reaching out to some of our old volleyball players, or some of her old students who have graduated and moved. Just to stay in touch with them, she just goes the extra mile.” 

Speaking of going the extra mile, Ciuba also enjoys running and completed her first marathon in November 2017. Outside of her regular teaching and coaching commitments, Ciuba is finishing up her master’s degree in educational leadership at Midwestern State. 

Above all else, Ciuba loves building relationships and having a positive impact on each and every student. 

“Just the chance to hopefully have a positive impact on all these kids and ones that I won’t see or ever see for years,” Ciuba said. “The relationships hands down are the best part.”