The Westerville Education Foundation has named three educators Teacher of the Month for May – David Walker, McVay and Mark Twain elementary schools; Jillian Faulhaber, Walnut Springs Middle School; and Shannon Clegg, Westerville South High School.
Two different nominators wish to recognize David Walker for his work with kindergarten students at Mark Twain and McVay elementary schools. According to nominator Holly Spadaro, Mr. Walker has gone the extra mile (literally) to make incoming kindergarten students feel welcome by first visiting their homes so they can see a familiar face on their first day of school. “Mr. Walker is always outside greeting the children as they arrive, rain or shine!” wrote Ms. Spadaro. He also capitalizes on every teachable moment. “Most days you will find (him) with all the kindergarteners out front doing exercises…From the moment their feet hit the school sidewalk they are engaged and learning.” This endless stream of activity has transformed her some from a student who “wasn’t sold on the idea of starting school” to one who now says, “Hurry, I don’t want to miss the fun!” On the first day of class, Mr. Walker invites parents into the classroom, rather than simply dropping off their children at the school door. “You could see excitement bubble up on those tear stained checks as the kids (and parents) walked through the door and heard him playing the guitar and singing,” wrote Ms. Spadaro. “What a positive impact he made that first day by telling us that we could join our kids anytime; we were there to learn and teach together.” According to nominator Benjamin Wolfe, Mr. Walker is a patient and enthusiastic educator who sets high expectations for his students. He also blends traditional kindergarten activities with various technological innovations. “The individual learning needs and styles of each child are championed by Mr. Walker and he pushes each child to achieve their best work,” Mr. Wolfe wrote. “Mr. Walker takes the natural chaos of 25 kindergarteners and molds it into an impressive learning-rich environment that many could not achieve.”
Jillian Faulhaber is considered by her nominators as the best Special Education teacher with whom their son has worked. According to the nomination, Ms. Faulhaber is able to tailor her instruction for their son in a manner that allows him to learn and comprehend his lessons faster than if he was being taught using other instructional practices. Additionally, she offers a learning environment that is warm, welcoming and inclusive for all students. This nurturing environment has been an important factor in motivating the nominators’ son to do well in school. “He can’t wait to come to school,” wrote the nominators. “He never wants to let her down.”
Westerville South High School’s Shannon Clegg is recognized by her nominator for her ongoing dedication, communication and many contributions she has made to help her son improve his performance in biology. Her son is a “hands-on” learner, which Mrs. Clegg noticed and subsequently adapted her teaching style to meet his learning needs. “She has offered to stay after school numerous times to help him review and always takes time out to explain things in a way that he understands,” her nominator wrote. “I appreciate the way she sticks by her students and tries to help them overcome whatever hurdle is getting in the way.” The nominator shared that this is the only teacher and class that her son offers information about each day. She knows her son enjoys going to class every day believes it is because Mrs. Clegg encourages him to try harder. “She gets to know her students individually as a person, not just a number,” the nominator wrote. “This is very important in high school because it builds confidence in the students, which makes them want to do better.”
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.