The Westerville Education Foundation (WEF) named four educators Teacher of the Month for January – Sandy Bundesen and Jocelyn Wagner, McVay Elementary School; Jeff Murdock, Blendon Middle School; and Jen Baker, Westerville South High School.
Jocelyn Wagner and Sandy Bundesen were nominated by a family who recently moved. They went over and above to help transition their students who would be leaving their classrooms. “Ms. Wagner took the time to write our daughter a letter which summarized their time together and let her know that she would be missed. Ms. Bundesen gave my daughter the Elephant and Piggie book, My New Friend is So Fun. She had all of the children in the class sign it and she wrote a very thoughtful note to my daughter in the book as well,” said their nominators. These teachers’ initiative and the care for their students is a comfort to parents. “The letters that both of these teachers took the time to write meant the world to our girls and will truly be treasured by our family forever.”
Jeffrey Murdock is described by his nominator as an interactive and fun teacher. “My son has never been a huge fan of science. This year, however, it is his favorite class… My son said that Mr. Murdock makes even the most boring things seem interesting,” the nominator explained. By letting the students use cell phones to video the process and outcome of a project, he was able to engage the students and get them excited even after the project was completed. “My son edited the videos at home. This wasn’t an assignment - he was just really into the activity.” Mr. Murdock’s enthusiasm and excitement transfers to the students and his support in taking learning beyond the project is boost to students.
Jen Baker is described by her nominator as inspirational and motivational. She is clear and concise in her teachings and helps students build out their literature pieces by teaching a solid foundation of the written language. “She herself is an academic, a student of literature, and she brings a relevant and highly proficient knowledge of the writing process and product”, says her nominator. Ms. Baker is prepared and deliberate in her teaching. It begins in her preparation. Ms. Baker writes her own lesson plans, writing prompts, and tests, crafting her units as she would have her students write their essays: relevant, developed, original, and individualized. ” Ms. Baker’s passion for writing is not only prevalent in her class, but shines through her students as well.
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.