Four teachers were honored Monday and named recipients of the Excellence in Teaching Award.
The 2016-2017 Excellence In Teaching Award, which is sponsored by the Springfield News-Sun, Springfield Rotary Club, Ohio Edison, Springfield Foundation and Chamber of Greater Springfield, was celebrated at the rotary meeting.
“Today showed just what outstanding teachers we have in the classroom,” Springfield City School District Board of Education President Ed Leventhal said. “We had four teachers all presented a different style and different approach, but you saw the passion and dedication from each and every one of them.”
The winners of this years award is Roosevelt Middle School math teacher Melinda Clark, Haywood Middle School English Teacher Aubree Kushmaul, Springfield High School government teacher Justin “Scott” Hambrick and Springfield-Clark Technology Center Auto Service teacher Stephen Walters. Each were given a plaque, crystal apple and a $1,000 prize.
“I strive to get my students to realize that I do care about them, that they are good enough and can do anything they set their mind to,” Kushmaul said during the ceremony. “No matter what a test score says or what someone else thinks about them, I hope that my students leave my classroom believing 100 percent that they can do anything.”
Walters said he’s proud to work with students with learning disabilities in his automotive class. He said many of his students were told they wouldn’t be able to achieve their dreams.
“Others in their past have told them what they cannot do,” Walters said. “Well, I like to prove them wrong. My students demonstrate everyday that learning happens and in my class they have learned what it takes to be a professional.”
It’s the job of everyone to challenge themselves to reach out to the youth of Clark County, Hambrick said.
“Pull them into things you are doing,” he said. “If you are working in a place that you are able to effect some great change, pull them in and let them see how that is done. Allow them to see what it looks like.”
Reaching out to teachers and seeing how they can be helped is also important for the community to do, Hambrick said.
Clark said she has learned a lot from being a teacher over the past 10 years. The Springfield native said her goal is to leave an impression on her students.
“I want students to say the knowledge they gained in my class helped them through college,” she said. “I want them to remember seventh and eighth grade math with fond memories even if the subject material was difficult. I want to know I gave them something positive.”
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This was the 29th year the Excellence in Teaching Award has been given out to deserving local educators. The awards have become something important, Leventhal said.
“It is something the community supports and I think it shows our appreciation for what they do everyday,” he said.