Meet the 2021 Columbus Parent/ThisWeek Teachers of the Year
This year’s honorees showcase some of the amazing talent present in classrooms all across Central Ohio.
A teaching career can be full of immense reward and significant challenge—all in the same day—even in normal circumstances. These past 10 months, however, were anything but, with students learning online, in hybrid or in person at various points during the school year. The pandemic has certainly underscored the importance of talented, dedicated educators, and we are proud to once again recognize some of the best in our region.
The 2021 Teachers of the Year awards, presented by Columbus Parent and ThisWeek Community News, marks the eighth year for this recognition program, which honors outstanding educators at the elementary, middle and high school levels.
This year, we received a record 152 nominations from school districts all over Central Ohio. Educators were nominated by their peers, administrators, parents, students and family members. Nominations were taken online from Dec. 10 to Jan. 14. Our editorial staffs reviewed all the submissions, did some independent research and narrowed the list to 15 finalists, five per category. Readers voted from Feb. 24 to March 24 to determine the three winners.
While we did not get to celebrate with them in person as we would have liked, each winner received a framed certificate, a banner to hang in their school or classroom, and a Cameron Mitchell Restaurants gift card.
Congratulations to all of our 2021 Teachers of the Year honorees.
Click on each winner for stories and photos.
Kevin Sheets, elementary school winner
Me-Chelle Burkhalter, middle school winner
Dominic Marchi, high school winner
Our 2021 Finalists
Jamie Carroll, Toll Gate Elementary School, Pickerington Local School District
Eunyoung Chae, St. Joseph Montessori School
Carmie Ouzounian, Worthington Adventist Academy
Kevin Sheets, High Point Elementary School, Gahanna-Jefferson Public School District
Sharon Williams, Scottwood Elementary School, Columbus City Schools
Me-Chelle Burkhalter, The Wellington School
Jacob Duffy, Lakeview Junior High School, Pickerington Local School District
Kristen Heath, Baldwin Road Junior High School, Reynoldsburg City School District
Sean Maycock, Columbus Adventist Academy
April Oates, Hannah J. Ashton Middle School, Reynoldsburg City School District
Kathryn Banig, Olentangy Liberty High School, Olentangy Local School District
Kim Gattis, St. Francis DeSales High School
Ann Johnson, Grove City High School, South-Western City School District
Dominic Marchi, Bishop Watterson High School
Christen Nohra, Central Crossing High School, South-Western City School District
Teachers of the Year Past Winners
Mindy Martin, fourth grade, Taylor Road Elementary School (Reynoldsburg City School District)
Julie Biswas, science, Columbus School for Girls
Jim Coley, U.S. Government, Reynoldsburg High School – eSTEM Academy (Reynoldsburg City School District)
Jim Ledford, first grade, Alcott Elementary School (Westerville City School District)
Eric “Scott” Delligatti, sixth- and eighth-grade science, Genoa Middle School (Westerville City School District)
Caitlin “Cait” Maloy, science, Westerville North High School (Westerville City School District)
Rita Crego, first grade, Taylor Road Elementary School (Reynoldsburg City School District)
Rob Niedermeyer, seventh-grade science, STEM Middle at Baldwin Road Junior High School (Reynoldsburg City School District)
Michael Kunselman, engineering teacher and FabLab adviser, Gahanna Lincoln High School (Gahanna-Jefferson Public School District)
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 School District)
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)
This story is from the Summer 2021 issue of Columbus Parent.