The Westerville Education Foundation (WEF) named three educators Teacher of the Month for November – Kristen Wright, Alcott Elementary School; Stephanie Sahr, Fouse Elementary School; and Eric Hoogeveen, Genoa Middle School. Each received a certificate and $100 to spend on classroom activities.
Kristen Wright is a music teacher at Alcott Elementary who was nominated by Elizabeth Wright, whose son has been Kristen’s student for five years. Elizabeth describes Kristen as a dynamic teacher who engages her students with music in an effective way using a wide range of techniques and devices. Elizabeth shared how Kristen’s influence can be seen outside of the classroom as well. On the way to a soccer game, her son asked for “pump up” music, specifically requesting “Beethoven” and sharing facts that Mrs. Wright had taught in the class. “At Alcott Elementary we are blessed to have a teacher like Mrs. Wright who makes the children learn in a very fun way,” said Elizabeth Wright. Last spring, Kristen Wright continued the annual tradition of Music Watch Week, an event that invites parents and family members into the school’s music room to watch and take part in classes that feature singing, dancing, playing instruments and reading music. The purpose is to build a community and culture of arts awareness.
Stephanie Sahr is a kindergarten teacher at Fouse Elementary who was nominated by three different parents for this award. Colleen Holton, whose son is in Sahr’s class, says that she has already instilled a love of learning in her son after just two months. Described by Holton as a “kind, loving, and compassionate individual,” she talks about how Sahr meets the needs of all of her students wherever they begin their academic journey with her. Another nominator, Patricia Johnson, described the effective way she communicates with parents and the passionate and loving way she interacts with her students. Her nominators also describe the creativity she brings to her classroom with mystery readers, visiting scientists, caterpillars and butterflies in the fall, and hatching chickens in the spring. Holton wrote, “She cares for her students as if they were her own children, giving reassuring hugs when tears are falling on the first day of school (for both students and parents!), and celebrating milestones right along with the students when they lose their first tooth.”
Aric Arnett, the father of one of his students, nominated Eric Hoogeveen. “Mr. Hoogeveen is the reason our son successfully transitioned to middle school,” said Arnett. He credits Hoogeveen with increasing his son’s self-confidence through personal connection and individualized support. “We are extremely grateful for Mr. Hoogeveen and all of the other teachers at Genoa Middle School.” Last month, Hoogeveen received an A+ Award from the district, which recognizes outstanding school employees whose actions demonstrate support of the district’s Mission Statement, a willingness to go above and beyond normal expectations in support of students, and behavior consistent with one or more of the district’s values.
The Westerville Education Foundation’s Teacher of the Month Program is sponsored by Education First Credit Union and ThisWeek Community News, with support from Otterbein University. The Mission of the Westerville Education Foundation is to enrich the learning experience and broaden the minds of our students through the funding and support of innovative educational programs. To nominate, give or join, please visit www.WestervilleEducationFoundation.com.