The Westerville Education Foundation has named three educators Teacher of the Month for September – Lisa Dapoz, McVay Elementary School; Chris Kuhn, Heritage Middle School; and Dr. Ben Hartnell, Westerville North High School.
Dapoz is described by her nominator as legitimately wonderful and an educator who goes the extra mile for her students. As nervous parents of a transitioning first grader she not only calmed their fears, but made the transition for their son seamless. “(Our son) has come home each day since school started with a wild-eyed look – chomping at the bit to tell me EVERYTHING about his day,” said the nominator. Mrs. Dapoz even went above and beyond to secure a taller desk for her child so he would be more comfortable in class. The nominator highlighted this act by saying, “Something as simple as that demonstrates just how legitimately wonderful Mr. Dapoz is.”
Kuhn is described by his multiple nominators as an educator who is fun, relaxed and gets his students out of their comfort zone to try something. “He placed (our daughter) in positions to succeed while challenging her at the same time,” the nominator explained. He works with his students to pair, and in in some instances, give alternatives to their choice in musical instruments. “When my child was getting headaches from his trumpet playing, Mr. Kuhn was sympathetic and looked for solutions,” the nominator wrote. “As a parent, you cannot observe the teacher in the class, but you can see the results and reaction of your children and it has always been positive with Mr. Kuhn.”
Dr. Hartnell is described by his nominator as passionate, motivational and an educator who puts his life into his work. After a not-so-normal encounter on parent orientation night, the nominator understands why history is now one of his son’s favorite classes. “Initially while walking around lost and trying to find the next class I was supposed to be at, walked by his classroom with him dressed up as Macho Man Randy Savage with Queen blaring in the background.” This unorthodox approach to teaching caught the attention of both parent and student. The nominator goes on to say, “It’s not just reading and memorization, but understanding and wrapping your head around it.” This passion demonstrated to teaching is exciting not only to students, but to the parents as well. “He lives history and makes it interesting and fun for the kids.”
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.