Teachers have wide-ranging responsibilities when it comes to educating students. They tie shoes. They mediate disputes. They serve as role models. And they also impart academic lessons from algebra to zoology.
Educators' influence is significant. During the school year, children might spend more waking hours with their teacher than their family. In recognition of the vital role they play, Columbus Parent and ThisWeek Community News are proud to again partner to present the 2018 Teachers of the Year awards.
The project, in its fifth year, recognizes three outstanding educators—one each at the elementary, middle and high school levels.
We kicked off this year's contest by mailing letters to principals and school district communications staffers, explaining the recognition program and urging them to nominate worthy teachers. The project also was promoted on the websites and social media pages of Parent and ThisWeek.
Nominations, which were taken online from Jan. 3 to Feb. 14, came from school districts all over central Ohio—from students, parents, colleagues, administrators and even family members. Our editorial staffs reviewed all of the submissions, did some independent research and narrowed the list to 15 finalists (five per category). Readers then voted online from March 5 through April 2 to determine the winners, who were recognized at surprise awards ceremonies at their schools.
Each winner received a summer fun prize basket (which included tickets to the Columbus Clippers, gift cards and other items) as well as a framed certificate and banner.
Find these stories in the May 24 editions of ThisWeek and the June issue of Columbus Parent:
Rita Crego, first grade, Taylor Road Elementary School, Reynoldsburg City School District
Rob Niedermeyer, STEM Middle at Baldwin Road Junior High School, Reynoldsburg City School District
Michael Kunselman, Gahanna Lincoln High School, Gahanna-Jefferson Public School District2018 finalists:
1) Michelle Bosse, third grade, Colerain Elementary School, Columbus City Schools
2) Rita Crego, first grade, Taylor Road Elementary School, Reynoldsburg City School District
3) Kelley Moff, fourth grade, Annehurst Elementary School, Westerville City School District
4) Melissa Tackett, third grade, Washington Elementary School, Hilliard City School District
5) Katie Worstell, third grade, Alton Hall Elementary School, South-Western City School District
1) Jen Abrams, John C. Dempsey Middle School, Delaware City School District
2) Wendy Austin, Big Walnut Intermediate School, Big Walnut Local School District
3) Genna Fragale, Brookpark Middle School, South-Western City School District
4) Rob Niedermeyer, STEM Middle at Baldwin Road Junior High School, Reynoldsburg City School District
5) Jean Shackle, Hilliard Memorial Middle School, Hilliard City School District
1) Jo Lee, Grandview Heights High School, Grandview Heights City School District
2) Rod Lightfoot, Whitehall Yearling High School, Whitehall City School District
3) Michael Kunselman, Gahanna Lincoln High School, Gahanna-Jefferson Public School District
4) Steve Ridgway, eSTEM Academy, Reynoldsburg City School District
5) Elizabeth Robinson, Westerville North High School, Westerville City School DistrictPast winners:
Amy Anderson, third grade, Buckeye Woods Elementary School (South-Western City School District)
Mary Potter, fifth-grade language arts, the Wellington School
Kristy Halleck, math, Central Crossing High School (South-Western City School District)
Buffy Burroughs, first grade, Avondale Elementary School (Columbus City Schools)
Julie Mizer, eighth-grade math, Hilliard Memorial Middle School (Hilliard City School District)
Marcella Cua, visual arts, Briggs High School (Columbus City Schools)
Krista Hyme, kindergarten, Johnnycake Corners Elementary School (Olentangy Local School District)
Lisa Picou, fifth-grade math, Buckeye Valley Middle School (Buckeye Valley Local School District)
Cynthia Macioce, drama, Gahanna Lincoln High School (Gahanna-Jefferson Public Schools)
Judges' Choice Winners
Sequoia Temple, kindergarten, Maize Elementary School (Columbus City Schools)
Pamela Reed, sixth-grade English and language arts, Buckeye Middle School (Columbus City Schools)
Susan Burnett, grades 9-12 intervention specialist, Cruiser Academy (Groveport Madison School District)
People's Choice Winner
Abby Farris, second grade, Glacier Ridge Elementary School (Dublin City School District)