Westerville Education Foundation Names Teachers of the Month for May


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The Westerville Education Foundation (WEF) named three educators Teacher of the Month for May – Libby Schlagbaum, Annehurst Elementary; Maryann Blankenship, Cherrington Elementary; and Jordan Kennedy, Westerville Central High School.

Libby Schlagbaum is described by her nominator and fellow teacher, Abby DeChant, as a calm, optimistic, resourceful and dedicated teacher who uses curriculum materials, volunteers, collaboration with colleagues, and other outside resources to reach each student exactly where they are.  “Her students this year have made amazing progress academically,” said DeChant.  In addition to her work in the classroom, Schlagbaum volunteered to participate in a district-wide language arts curriculum committee and took it upon herself to start an after school Annehurst book club for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd graders.   “This relaxed setting is such a great way for kids to learn to enjoy reading for pleasure,” DeChant added.  Her book club has been such a hit with the students at Annehurst that she has offered to add a second session.  “We are so lucky to have Mrs. Schlagbaum at Annehurst.”

Maryann Blankenship was nominated by Rachel Dew, who has had three children in her classroom over the last four years.  Dew appreciates the strong foundation and positive connection to reading that Blankenship fosters, which she describes as “one of the greatest gifts a person can give to a child.”  Dew writes, “She cares not only about education, but about the whole child: the physical, emotional, social, and relational needs of each student.”  Dew also describes Blankenship as courageous and effective in conflict resolution, stating that through her clear and gentle communication with both parents and students, everyone learns, grows and works together.

Jordan Kennedy was nominated by the parent of a current student.  According to her nominator, the student had lost all motivation for school because of how she was sometimes treated and perceived by peers because of her speech, weight and learning disability.  Her nominator states that Kennedy improved her child’s reading, self-confidence and motivation.  Kennedy is often the subject of their after-school conversations and her daughter looks forward to going to school each day.  Her nominator describes how Kennedy uses humor, movies, books and other media to engage and improve the learning for students on an Individualized Education Plan.

The Westerville Education Foundation’s Teacher of the Month Program is sponsored by Education First Credit Union and ThisWeek Community News, with support from Otterbein University.  The Mission of the Westerville Education Foundation is to enrich the learning experience and broaden the minds of our students through the funding and support of innovative educational programs.  To nominate, give or join, please visit www.WestervilleEducationFoundation.com.