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Teacher of the Year

Teacher of the Year 2017-18: Beth Baltzell

 Photo of Beth Baltzell, the Teacher of the Year for 2017-18 holding her award plaque 

We often reflect on how we as educators can make a positive impact on our students. We’ve often heard that many students may not remember their teachers for the content that they taught, but they will definitely remember them because of a smile, a hug, or kind gesture. After reading the nominations for our recipient, there is no doubt that she will be remembered by her students. One of the co-workers who nominated our recipient shared this quote from Mother Teresa:  “Do small things with great love.” She shared that she has witnessed this year’s teacher of the year do small things with great love each and every day for not only her students, but also her co-workers. Throughout the nominations, there was a common theme: our teacher of the year constantly gives of herself to her students and co-workers. She takes an interest in her students and goes out of her way to show her love for them. Some examples of how she shows her love:  She gives unfortunate students lunch money to ensure that they are able to eat lunch on that day. She stays late after school to provide extra help, and she even comes in early to accommodate parents that may have to go into work earlier than expected. She is the person that goes in at the last minute and takes all of the ornaments off of a giving tree to make sure that all of the families are receiving gifts during the holidays. A co-worker described this teacher’s love for children and passion for teaching as “awe inspiring.” She told a story about one of this teacher’s students losing her mother. She dedicated herself to helping this family through a tragedy. She met with the father before he sent his daughter back to school. She came into work early so that the father could leave his daughter with her before he went to work. After school was out, this teacher went to this student’s residence in Northern Kentucky to pick her up. She took one of the little girl’s best friends from her class as well. They spent the day together – during the summer, and she continues to stay in touch with this family. Finally,  a former student and now co-worker had this to say, “Each and every day, she goes out of her way to help others. She creates an incredible classroom environment for her students and supporting staff members. I was lucky enough as a second grader at Fairfield South Elementary School in 1997-1998 to have her as my teacher. She inspired me in second grade to be a teacher, and continues to inspire me now to be the best teacher I can be each and every day."