• Mabel G. Holmes School No. 5

Teacher of the Year

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Ms. Christie Yoder

In-Class Support Teacher

Growing up I was a student that would struggle. I never enjoyed reading because it didn’t come easy to me. Finally, I had a teacher that understood me and got through to me. She made me enjoy reading and helped me improve my skills. This made me consider becoming a teacher. I started to explore working with children throughout high school. I started working with children by teaching swimming lessons during the summer. From there I began to work at The Goddard school as a classroom assistant and camp director. I enjoyed the time I spent helping these kids grow and learn, both in the pool and the classroom. This led me to choose a college major in education. I decided to go to school for preschool-3 and special education. I wanted to get my degree in education to help students that are struggling and misunderstood. Over the past 16 years of teaching, I have grown so much. Every year I learn something new and I’m better able to help my students be successful. It puts a smile on my face when I have past students email or come visit to tell me how much I helped them. My goal is to help each one of my students in some way.

Every student is different and as educators we need to embrace their differences. I work hard to understand each one of my students and their needs. I build relationships with my students to understand them and their interests. This connection helps my students feel comfortable in my classroom. I use my understanding of them to plan my lessons. I try to make it interesting to them to keep them engaged. I want to provide them with every opportunity to be successful. Learning from them is what has helped me to become the teacher I am. I continue to grow better with each year and each set of students.

Educational Service Professional of the Year

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Ms. Laura Kratzer

Paraprofessional

Since the eighth grade I’ve always wanted to work in Special Education because I am a product of what Special Education can do for a child with a learning disability. I knew I would be one of the best in this position because I could relate to children that struggle with their academics. In elementary school, one of my favorite teachers (Mrs. Gonnella) shared with me that she also was in special education as a child. She was the kindest teacher. Another teacher that I looked up to (Mrs. Schau) was such an inspiration. She's always made learning fun. They both made a big difference in so many of our lives and I knew that’s what I wanted to do. Help and support struggling children with their learning and help them feel accepted.

I currently work with children with learning disabilities in a first-grade class. I give them extra support by helping them with their classwork and help redirect them to focus back on their work when they are struggling or distracted. I praise them when they are doing a great job and overcome what they are struggling with. I encourage them to work hard and do their best when they think they can’t. When any student is having a hard time with their work, they know they can always come to me for extra support.