Debbie Henney, an intervention specialist at Mark Twain Elementary and Sarah McPeak, a music teacher at Blendon Middle School have been named Westerville Education Foundation’s October Teachers of the Month.
WEF Board Member and Chair of the Teacher of the Month program Rebecca Chesnick, WEF Secretary Beth Weinhardt, Superintendent Dr. John Kellogg, as well as administrators and teachers surprised recipients with the news.
Nomination letters for each recipient featured glowing praise:
Henney: “Her determination in my son’s success was inspiring. They slowly built a relationship by lego battling, my son’s favorite activity. Not only did this activity bring my son and Mrs. Henney together but it brought him and another one of Mrs. Henney’s students together. I will say my son interacts with a decent amount of people but doesn’t really have many people that he truly connects with. Mrs. Henney saw this as an opportunity to nurture a relationship between two students who didn’t really have many friendships and turned it into the best part of both of their days. It made Mrs. Henney’s room a place to look forward to and an incentive for working hard on school work. It’s incredible to me that she not only cared about their educational goals but their social goals as well and built a really special and safe place for two kids to be themselves whole-heartedly. Mrs. Henney has the biggest heart and she truly loves her students.”
McPeak: Sarah McPeak is the type of teacher that makes you want to come to class. She is the band teacher at Blendon Middle School and her love and passion for music are contagious. While my son comes to band with a strong background in music — he plays guitar and piano — his love for music has grown even more in the quarter since school started. Band has been the release at the end of a busy day and a place where everyone is working toward a common goal and generally starting from a place of being a novice.
Additionally, the 6th-grade class has a remarkable amount of oboe players and a student suggested starting an oboe club. Sarah generously volunteered to host this 'club' for the oboists. My child was thrilled to have a club where he would instantly fit in. Teachers have
many superpowers and to me, Sarah's superpower is being able to teach many kids at a variety of levels and instruments how to not only play the instrument but how to play with others.“
WEF recognizes teachers who have made an impact on their students, peers and school community. Sponsored by the Education First Credit Union, the Teacher of the Month program provides winners with $100 for their classroom funds.
To learn more about this month’s award winners and the Teacher of the Month program, visit the Westerville Education Foundation’s website.