Buffy Burroughs, Avondale Elementary, Columbus.

As a retired teacher with 35 years of service in the central Ohio area, I understand all that it takes to do the job to the best of one's ability. Buffy Burroughs far exceeds expectations of a caring, loving supportive elementary teacher, by the love she shows to her first grade classroom, her school and the community.

Volunteering in her classroom, I have witnessed her commitment to each and every child in the first grade classroom and her ability to reach out well beyond the school walls at Avondale Elementary School in Franklinton.

IN THE CLASSROOM: Students receive birthday, Christmas presents and treats for other holidays. They receive blankets from her each winter and hygiene care packages over winter break. She eats lunch with students once a week and provides supplies for them out of her own single parent budget (crayons, pencils, hats, gloves, book bags, etc.) She has taken students shopping for clothes, including coats and shoes and brought extra clothes to school so that children could change while she washed their things overnight.

She sent food bags home every Friday for two years before the school received a grant for a similar program. She has funded and organized Thanksgiving dinner at the school for nine years. She attends community functions of her students (sports, church, funerals, etc.) and has paid for field trips.

IN THE SCHOOL: The whole school has benefitted from her efforts. She has organized and sought support for pajamas for every student at Avondale, funded and sought funds for school wide field day activities, started coat drives, etc.

IN THE COMMUNITY: She works with parents in the following capacities: studying and applying for GED, filing social security paper work, filing taxes, providing comfort meals hand delivered to their homes in times of crisis, finding shelter for homeless and abusive families, etc. I understand she even cleaned out her own attic, painted and prepared it for temporary housing for a student teacher in crisis.

She does it all with humility and calmness. She certainly deserves to be selected as the 2016 Elementary Teacher of the Year for her work with her classroom, the school and the community.

--Retired Teacher and School Volunteer,AvondaleElementary