The Westerville Education Foundation (WEF) named three educators Teacher of the Month for March – Danielle Whitehead, Annehurst Elementary School; Cathy Finnegan, Genoa Middle School; and Julie Chance, Westerville North High School.
Danielle Whitehead is described by her multiple nominators, one of them being the Annehurst PTA Leadership team, as responsive and accepting. Her dedication to her students and the commitment she shows toward learning is contagious to the community. After the project grant for the Reflex math program was unable to be renewed, Mrs. Whitehead lead the charge to raise the funds to ensure that continued success would go on in future school years. “She helped inspire our PTA, student, and staff to fund this $4,000 investment with our most successful Walk-a-Thon ever this past fall - and continued increased math fact fluency for our students,” said one of the nominators. Her second nominator saw the same ability to excite students to be accountable for their learning. “When I talk to my son, he feels like he has ownership in the classroom. Mrs. Whitehead lets my son be himself.”
Cathy Finnegan is described by her nominator as supportive and encouraging. “Mrs. Finnegan embraced the challenges of fully including a child with significant disabilities and made my daughter’s transition from elementary school to middle school seamless,” her nominator said. Mrs. Finnegan works to ensure the students she represents are included in a traditional classroom environment as much as possible. “By embracing my daughter, her needs, and all of her equipment, she has created a welcoming safe and inclusive environment where my daughter is comfortable and feels confident to express herself and to try new things.” Her nominator concludes by saying, “She is the greatest example of what an Intervention Specialist should be and how that position should be performed.”
Julie Chance is described by her nominator as supportive and a “voice of reason” to students. She makes learning fun and intriguing by using a variety of methods in her teaching. She engages students with “hands-on, dynamic, group and individual work, labs, and book [learning] - a nice mix to appeal to various learning styles,” says her nominator. Ms. Chance ensures that students are being held accountable, while giving them the flexibility to finish assignments in unconventional ways by maintaining open and honest communication with them. “In an era where STEM is so important, Ms. Chance inspires students to enjoy it rather than shy away from it.” Her nominator concludes by saying, “She is also a wealth of knowledge about the high school curriculum and very responsive, always making sure that our daughter can be the best student she can be.”
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.