Courtney Wagner, President of the Westerville Education Foundation, is pictured (clockwise) with Hanby Elementary Principal Monica Brown and Michelle Andears; McVay Elementary Principal Scott May and Rachel Schultz; and Blendon Middle School Principal Kendall Harris and Victoria Cook.
The Westerville Education Foundation has named three educators Teacher of the Month for November – Michelle Andears, Hanby Elementary; Victoria Cook, Blendon Middle School; and Rachel Schultz, McVay Elementary.
Michelle Andears is described as a teacher who holds children to a higher level of learning and expects the best of students, both educationally and emotionally. She has created a classroom environment that develops children who are respectful, kind, inclusive, and collaborative. In addition to promoting the importance of attention to detail, Ms. Andears makes it clear to students that if they have something on their mind that they don’t want to share in front of everyone, they can write it on a piece of paper and put in a box. This helped the nominator’s daughter get through a particularly difficult time following the loss of a family pet. Ms. Andears has fostered a sense of trust and comfort among students and parents. “Having this type of open communication in order to instill emotional development and a helpful resource in kids is absolutely inspiring,” read part of the nomination. “The open communication Ms. Andears has available truly makes a difference to me as a parent.”
Victoria Cook is described by her nominator as “an example of what every teacher should be.” The nominator has a child with special needs and credits Ms. Cook for “taking him under her wing, helping with organization and keeping him focused in school.” She appreciates Ms. Cook’s proactive nature, which includes regular calls/texts with updates and ensuring that her child’s 504 plan is being followed. In fact, Ms. Cook has even attended some of the student’s extracurricular activities to show him that she cares. “I know that she is truly in the profession for the reason of seeing her students learn,” read part of the nomination. “She is very organized and gives your child every opportunity to get a good grade in her class.”
Rachel Schultz is described by her nominator as “the most calm, supportive and positive person” who “is open to all information/suggestions and so willing to meet each child at their level.” As the parent of a special needs student, the nominator credits Ms. Schulz for her daughter’s joy of going to school and participating in unique, hands-on classroom activities, such as learning to cook and make pottery. As a result, her daughter is reading, recognizing money and flourishing in every way. “It's a direct result of the support and care she gets in Ms. Schultz’s classroom,” read part of the nomination. “They treat the kids like they're celebrities with cheers and positive reinforcement when they arrive each morning.” The nominator credits Ms. Schultz for setting the tone for the support staff and aides, “who are miraculous ladies and worthy of this recognition as well…We simply cannot imagine a better environment for our daughter to grow and learn.”
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.