Westerville Education Foundation Names Teachers of the Month for May

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Abby Dechant  Stephanie Fitzpatrick  Caitlin Maloy

Left:  Teacher of the Month Abby DeChant is pictured with Annehurst principal Earl Rahm and WEF Executive Director Colleen Moidu.  Center:  Wilder Principal Victoria Hazlett with Teacher of the Month Stephanie Fitzpatrick and Moidu.  Right:  Westerville North Principal Kurt Yancey, Teacher of the Month Caitlin Maloy and Moidu. 




The Westerville Education Foundation (WEF) named three educators Teacher of the Month for May – Abby DeChant, Annehurst Elementary School; Stephanie Fitzpatrick, Wilder Elementary School; and Caitlin Maloy, Westerville North High School.   

Abby DeChant is described by her nominator as a committed and resourceful teacher who finds innovative solutions to support the “whole child” in her classroom.  “As a kindergarten teacher, Abby had several classes with difficult behaviors.  She rolled up her sleeves and worked to find solutions to the difficult behaviors.”  According to her nominator, she introduced yoga and meditation to the class to calm behavior.  She also worked with the district behavior specialist and reached out to the special needs preschool to create multiple behavior plans for her students.  She also involves her students in community efforts like the Caring and Sharing program, WARM’s Summer Lunch Program, and supports young authors through Barnes and Noble Authors Nights.  Abby’s nominator concludes by saying, “Abby always has the students’ best interests in mind and strives daily to make learning fun.”

Stephanie Fitzpatrick is described by her nominator as a calm, empathetic and assertive educator with excellent communication with parents and great control of the classroom atmosphere.  “I do not know how we would have gotten through these first several months of school without the thoughtful, caring and compassionate Mrs. Fitzpatrick.  Our son was struggling with full-day kindergarten and Mrs. Fitzpatrick stepped in to help, even though he was not in her classroom.” Mrs. Fitzpatrick takes a personal approach to helping students work through challenges in her classroom in innovative ways.  “She helped him through the struggles AND celebrated successes. She is truly an angel of Wilder Elementary.”

“Ms. Maloy is an outstanding science teacher at Westerville North High School who inspires our students and staff members,” said Caitlin’s nominator, a co-worker at the school.  Ms. Maloy leads the school’s Recycling Club and composting programs.  “By drawing on local resources like the City of Westerville (donations of truckloads of tree leaves, tree chips), Otterbein University (horse manure), Java Central (used coffee grounds), and the WARM Organization (spoiled food waste), Ms. Maloy has created a large-scale, community-based composting program that has processed over 40,000 pounds of food waste in the past 16 months.”  These large-scale endeavors and have attracted attention from teachers outside of the state.  Ms. Maloy’s work ethic, enthusiasm and passion inspire her students and coworkers alike. 

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.