Learn by Heart Stories
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Educator BIG THANK YOU Story Given By Jessica Ingel Jessica is starting her 1st year at Hollywood. I have been a kitchen manager for 16 years. I am so very thankful for Jessica. She goes above and beyond working in the kitchen with me and her love for the students and staff. Barbara Melissa Harris Melissa is my son's current first grade teacher at Roosevelt. He’s been struggling in class and at home and she has gone above and beyond to help him and has gone out of her way to let me know what is going on. She has the kindest heart and is so amazing to Landon and to me. I want to thank her from the bottom of my heart for being an amazing teacher and person in our lives. I’m so thankful for her and the help generosity and love that she has given Landon and always makes him feel comfortable to talk to and be around. Thank you Melissa for everything you do! Paige Mrs Thompson- Hollywood Elementary Mrs Thompson goes above and beyond to make a genuine connection with my daughter, Sophia daily. She happened to be at power in motion for her daughter's gymnastics class one day outside of school and made the choice to stay later than normal to watch my daughter during her cheerleading class! She is a true gem and we look forward to seeing her every day. Erin Jackie McGovern Jackie McGovern is the secretary at Stewart Elementary. She is asked to wear many hats day in and day out, but one of her biggest roles is to create a caring, warm environment in the Stewart office. In many ways, she is the "face" of Stewart. We have a student that has a number of medical concerns in our building. He visits the office three times a day-- once for medication and two others to receive services from a home health care service. He requires support from home health care nurses twice a day, and these services require very personal interaction. Due to staffing, the nurses are often different from one day to the next. Sometimes they are male, sometimes they are female. It would be uncomfortable for most adults, so I cannot imagine how uncomfortable it is for a young boy. At the beginning of the school year, the student was anxious about these interactions, voicing how uncomfortable he was to be working with the nurses one on one. Over the course of the school year, however, Jackie has formed an incredible connection with this student. She listened to his concerns, offered suggestions to both he and the nursing service to make him feel more comfortable and took intentional time each time he visited the office to connect with him. Now each time he visits the office, he comes in smiling from ear to ear. You can hear him and Jackie saying, "Hiiiiiiiiiiiii" or "Byyyyyyyyye" as he enters and exits the office. He jokes with Jackie, talks to her about his family and her family and tells her about what his is excited about during the day. When he needs a refill on his medication, Jackie and the student call his mom together (which he thinks is really special)! He helps her answer the door if there's a visitor and gets excited to help her with small tasks around the office. Recently, the student has began to come to the office using his walker instead of his wheelchair. Jackie makes a huge celebration each time he does, celebrating his strength, independence and growth. You can see the student hold his head a little higher each time she makes a big deal out of his success. Although it may seem small, Jackie has created a relationship with him that allows him to feel safe, comfortable and happy. What was viewed as an uncomfortable or anxious situation has turned into a favorite time of day for both Jackie and the student.They both light up when they see each other, have the most vibrant smiles and walk away from each interaction feeling happy and refreshed. It is truly amazing to see. Samantha Karen Kozdron Karen is a parapro and librarian at Roosevelt. Karen is always so kind and always has a smile on her face. Since her time at Roosevelt, she has totally transformed our library. She hangs fun book memes around the library, reorganized all the shelves (a HUGE job) with alphabetical shelf markers, cleaned out outdated books, and made book bins organized by popular series and character to make books more accessible for the kids. She has spent countless hours outside her contract time to do all of these above and beyond things I stated above. She has even come in over the summer to get the library set up. After we shut down in March 2020 for the rest of the school year, the kids dropped off their library books before summer break. Karen came in before her contract time for the new school year, in the summer, to check in the entire schools’ library books. She made special reminder slips to give the kids when they returned back to school in the fall to turn in the books if they hadn’t done so yet. Karen buys books for the library with her OWN money and has donated her personal books to the library(she is a former teacher). I needed a book for a special lesson. It wasn’t in our library, so Karen went to the Lincoln Township library after school to get it for me. I ask her if she could help me gather rhyming books for our phonics unit, and the next morning 2 rolling cart of books were waiting for me outside my door. She loves knowing what the kids are interested in reading and adding those books to our library. She loves to help them find books in the library and writes down if they want a book on hold. She cleans the books and wraps them with special covers so they last longer. Last year, when we were cohorted, she would bring carts of books to the classroom and her laptop to let kids check out books. It was so exciting for the kids to be checking out books again after not being able to for almost a year. She is so flexible and will come to our classrooms with her carts of books and laptop if the library is being used so the kids don’t miss out on checking out books that week. She was so excited to welcome kids back into the library this year! Her love for books and kids is so uplifting! I feel so lucky to work with her! I can’t wait to bring my class to the library each week! She also covers the office during our secretaries lunch break. She teaches reading intervention groups. She helps our bus riders get on the bus after school with a smile on her face. She also knows that my own children, who attend Roosevelt, are big Western Michigan fans. Her husband works at WMU. So Karen will bring them special WMU treasures with notes that say things like “To my favorite WMU fans.” She’s given them window clings, pins, magnets, even WMU shirts for our dog! Karen so humble and kind. She does all of these things so discreetly. I want the community to know her and how lucky Roosevelt is to have her! Megan Kaitlin Hosey During a student’s education, there always seem to be 1 or 2 teachers that stand out over the years; the sort you never forget for the best possible reasons. Mrs. Hosey is truly one of those amazing role models. In recent years, she has supported our oldest son's love of music in ways that have truly gone above and beyond. As a hockey player for the past decade, we assumed there wouldn't be another interest that surpassed his love of the sport. In 5th grade, though, he started playing the French Horn, working with Mrs. Hosey in private lessons soon after. We could not believe how challenging and fun Mrs. Hosey made his lessons, and in partnership with Mr. Hosey, our son has absolutely seen his excitement about playing the horn match, and perhaps surpass his love of traveling as an athlete. Mrs. Hosey has supported him through numerous nominations, letters of recommendation for scholarships, last-minute audition practices, and made him laugh his way through what would otherwise be high stress Orchestra application processes. Her support has directly been the catalyst for his achievements in band thus far. From an offer to play in Europe, 1st Chair with his summer orchestra, a spot with the Lake Michigan Youth Orchestra, and his current nomination to play at Carnegie Hall this summer in NYC, Mrs. Hosey has been essential in this learning journey. She took the long drive out to summer camp this year to watch Sour son and fellow classmates perform at Blue Lake, and looked just like a proud parent in the stands. We were so thankful to have her there. Mrs. Hosey even found a way to help our son find a second instrument he’s picked up playing, and arranged for special school-to-home pick-ups or drop-offs of forgotten horns a time or two. Mrs. Hosey is kind, knowledgeable, an accomplished musician, and the best champion for students a school could ask for. Thank you Mrs. Hosey, for the encouragement, the in-lesson laughter, and the heightened passion for music you’ve brought to our son’s life, and to all the many students you so selflessly serve! Alissa Paula Hazzard-Reed Paula works tirelessly to support the social emotional needs of the students at Hollywood elementary. She goes above and beyond to implement innovated programming and prepare behind the scenes. She has worked with other staff to create an amazing sensory processing room. Her background has prepared her to creatively use all her talents for the betterment of the students and Hollywood is lucky to have her! Amber Dayna Gallaway Dayna has a huge heart for her students. She has jumped right back in after maternity leave with even more tasks on her shoulders, and continues to work tirelessly to support social emotional learning for all students. Dayna has gone above and beyond to implement new innovative mental health curriculum and advocates to help students however she can. Stewart is lucky to have her as a part of the team! Amber All Lakeshore bus drivers I would like to give a big THANK YOU to all our bus drivers. They are the first person kids see before they get to school. The bus drivers job can be challenging with road conditions, kids running late coming out of their house, and other unforeseen delays. The kids come in ready to start their day and at the end of the day they repeat their experience. Our drivers make extra trips back to the school when a lunch box, coat or back pack gets left behind. I appreciate all they do for our hundreds of kids that ride the bus. Joan Roosevelt Staff The entire staff at Roosevelt Elementary School is incredible! They have worked so hard the last two years to make sure the students feel safe and loved. Despite all the upset and uncertainty in the world, Roosevelt maintained an order of normalcy as best as possible. Mrs. Kyncl, the teachers and staff are dedicated to the education of the whole child. We are grateful to be a part of the Roosevelt Family. Angie Cami (Ashley) Vitek My son was in Mrs. Ashley's kindergarten class during the 2019/2020 school year. We were abruptly switched to e-learning the second half of that year so the kids didn't really get to have a traditional end of the school year kindergarten graduation celebration. For their final graduation Zoom, the theme was pirates. Not only did Mrs. Ashley make up "pirate kits" for each kindergartner in her class, she also took the time to personally drive around to each kid's house and drop the kit in their mailbox to make sure they each had a pirate hat and eye patch for their final Zoom. In a year that felt so disconnected, the kids all having matching costumes for their final Zoom helped to make them feel more connected, even if they couldn't physically be together. Two years later, my son still has his kindergarten graduation eye patch hanging on his wall. Honestly, my biggest regret about our time at Lakeshore thus far is that my son didn't get to finish out the school year in person with Mrs. Ashley. Amy Lori Kuntz All of my son’s teachers at Roosevelt have been amazing, kind, dedicated, and went above and beyond everyday to be a great teacher. This year his 4th grade teacher is Mrs. Kuntz and she cares so deeply for her classroom kids. Not only does she make sure they get a good education but she makes sure the kids feel safe and loved and she builds up their confidence and self worth. She is also fun and silly but also expects her student to do their best work. She goes above and beyond to help my son to be his best self possible. Mrs. Kuntz knew my son was struggling with some issues and wanted to help. She put my son in a reading group and purposely picked a book for him to read that would speak to him because he related to the main character who was going through the same issues my son faces. My son brought that book home and was so excited for us to read it together and I could tell in some ways that book was therapy for him knowing there are kids out there going through the same things as he is.I appreciate her for thinking of ways to help in every aspect of her teaching. We love our teachers!!!!! Kristi Marcella Grashorn Marcella is such a patient and caring teacher. The special education Dept. at Lakeshore High School has a great team of amazing teachers, but Marcella goes above and beyond to make sure that the students have the support they need in school, out of school and making sure they are prepared for life after High School. It is an honor to work along side of her. Thank you Marcella. Heather Pam Greiffendorf Pam organized take-home meals for 3 months for a large number of our students. She knew that for some of our kids, a school meal is their only meal for the day. Sue Cheri Bacon Besides from helping me with my everyday schoolwork, Mrs. Bacon helped me with my emotional and mental health when it was hard for me to talk to others about it. Not only was it just me, it was many others that told me that they also noticed it as well. She shows dedication by not only doing the bare minimum, but going above and beyond by helping students more than just with schoolwork. Brianna #7 Bus Driver they call him Mr Robert The Bus Driver goes above and beyond for my kids and I couldn’t be more grateful for him. He knows them by name, he talks to them as soon as their foot hits the step in the bus. He always waves to myself or to my mother. He was out on leave for sometime and my kids were really sad. They would come home kinda crabby each day and when I asked them what was wrong they would say our bus driver isn’t back yet. When he sees a car coming way too fast from the opposite way, he lays on his horn to get their attention. Becky Joan Peden Joan is the secretary at Hollywood Elementary. She really plays the roll of caretaker for everyone at the school. I was picking my kids up from school one day, rather than having them ride the bus like usual. I got busy with work, and completely forgot they were supposed to be car riders. I received a call from Hollywood Elementary and instantly realized I had forgotten to pick them up. I answered the phone in a panic, grabbing my things and rushing out the door, assuring her I’d be there in 5 minutes. I got a response from a giggling Joan, telling me it was fine, she was there until 4:15 anyhow. As if that weren’t enough, my daughter forgot her backpack in the office when we left, and we didn’t realize until we got home. I received yet another phone call from Joan, letting me know she would drop the back pack off in our driveway after some errands she had to run. On what felt like my worst, most stressful day, Joan was there to help out where she could, with a smile on her face. What a gift she is! Kate Allison Graves This year I have the pleasure of teaching next door to Ms. Graves. I love standing in the hallway each morning and seeing her greet her students. She has built amazing relationships with her second grade students. It is clear that students adore her and feel safe, happy and loved in her classroom.
Whenever I overhear Ms. Graves teaching, it puts an instant smile on my face. She brings such positivity and joy to her teaching and it is infectious. I hear her incorporate music, humor and sometimes silly voices into her teaching and her students eat it up. They always seem to be having a great time, as well as learning lots.
Jillian Cynthia Kliemchen My son had Ms. Kliemchen for 4th grade two years ago. She constantly challenged him to do his best. She wouldn't put up with any excuses or mediocre attempts. I really appreciated how much she cared. Kristen Carole Conrad Mrs. Conrad makes every student feel as though they are valued and cared about, both in choir and life. She encourages everyone and looks on the bright side. When I was in middle school choir, she helped to really love music, ans learn so much more about it. She didn't just teach music; she taught life lessons, which helped everyone in her class be more supportive of others. She didn't care about popularity like some teachers did, she just accepted everyone for who they were, and she didn't try to change them. She helped me learn to love music, which still is a big part of my life now. When our choir had done something great, like get a good rating at festival, we had circle time to talk about the positives and negatives of the event. It was little things like this that helped Mrs. Conrad become one of my favorite teachers. Schaeffer Elizabeth Gregorich Ms.G always goes above and beyond. This school year has been difficult for my daughter between her grandpa passing to missing because of quarantine and Ms.G has been so helpful and patient. My daughter is always talking about how awesome she is and how much she loves her. I’m so impressed with how awesome of a person she is and am so happy we chose to be Lancers! Candace Melissa Harris Melissa is an amazing educator--she goes above and beyond for every one of her students, showing kindness, empathy, love and the desire for each student to grow into the very best version of themselves. This Christmas season, my daughter who is in Melissa's first grade class would come home each day bursting with excitement over the special gift they were making in class. When school was closed the week prior to holiday break, it did not stop Mrs Harris from hand delivering all the special gifts--to every single student's house in her class. And! The gift, was a treasure keepsake that she had made with her father, on her own time, with certainly her own money, to bless her students. This is just one of the small ways Melissa is an amazing gift to my daughter, to all the students in her class, and to our entire district. She has a spirit that makes you want to be better. To want to learn. To want to invest your whole self each and every day. Thank you Melissa, for teaching others to learn by heart. katherine Michelle Nichols I'm writing today to thank Mrs. Nichols for her continued work with Kya as a 6th grade mathematician. I reached out early in the year to share some back story about Kya's math learning journey and express how she's fully capable to "do hard things" in math, but has lacked confidence since an early age. Reading has always come naturally to her and she's an ELA girl through and through, but we know she's also got the skills to stretch herself as a mathematician, even when things feel harder and take more time to learn. Mrs. Nichols' focus on helping these new middle schoolers have a growth mindset for math learning was something she made clear at her back to school night and as of this week, I think Kya has completely bought into the belief that she CAN do advanced math, thanks to YOU, Mrs. Nichols!
Her big news to share when she got home from school recently (in addition to a 100% on her math quiz) was that Mrs. Nichols told her that she's doing so well in math that she'd like her to consider being a peer math tutor for other students. She told me "I kept my cool with Mrs. Nichols and just said "yes, I could do that," but really I was freaking out inside!" She was absolutely BEAMING last night and kept saying "Mrs. Nichols thinks I'm good enough at math to help other people!!!" When I woke her up for school the next morning and said "Good morning, Kya," she said "Mom, you need to say "Good morning, math tutor" to me!" Her confidence is SOARING due to Mrs. Nichols' belief in her!
This moment of clarity for Kya is a culmination of the foundation laid from her teachers all the way down to 2nd grade (when she had to start "learning" math that she didn't already "just know"), so thank you to Hollywood's superstar staff - Mrs. McLean, Mrs. Hyrns, Mrs. D-R, and Ms. Parm who all played a role in helping her start to believe. And special thanks to you, Mrs. Nichols, who sealed the deal by putting your faith in her math skills even at the higher middle school level of Math 6+. I don't think we'll have to worry about Kya's growth mindset in math from here on out - she believes in herself because you all believed in her!
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts,
Kevin & Kari Butcher
Kari Jim Jakubs and all the custodial staff at our schools. I want to give a special thank you to all of our custodians at our schools as well Jim Jakubs and all other employees who help with mantinence on our buildings. As a member of the kitchen staff at one of our schools, I get to see first hand just how much these people do for our schools. They keep them clean and functioning, and are there to help whenever you call! Without them, we would be lost, and I want them to know just how much we appreciate all they do everyday for all of us! Thank you, thank you, thank you! You are appreciated so much more than you know!!!! Jessica Pam Greiffendorf Pam is in charge of food service for all the schools. She is always doing her best to make menus that are enjoyable and healthy for the kids, as well as juggling all the hardships that come with her position. From not being able to get employees, or specific food items ordered, or even the basic things we need in the kitchen! She runs from store to store, school to school, making sure we have everything we need. She gets on the phone and calls those she needs to call to make sure our kids have a smooth breakfast and lunch every day. We are so thankful to have her in our district and want her to know we appreciate all she does every single day for her kitchen staff and the kids! Jessica Nicholas White The Stewart Family wants to recognize Nicholas White for his continued dedication to our students on the bus. Recently, the Stewart team was working together to brainstorm some ways we could create a new environment on one of our best routes. Nicholas was eager to assist us anyway he could, even coming over to meet with us in person to talk about ideas. Nicholas served as a liaison to the bus drivers and was instrumental in helping us create our new plan. Nicolas is always looking for ways to make every student's bus ride safe and enjoyable. We are lucky to have Nicolas supporting our students every day! Samantha Klunder He has always proved to me I got this even when I feel I do not he constantly pushes me to do my best and try and stay on top of my math. He shows kids in multiple ways the good they do and always ends with a smile on his face. Destiny Amy Deloria Ms. Deloria was selected as our daughter's first grade school teacher for her first year in public school. She made a comfortable space for her to grow and continued to support her and her interests. She did this with patience and understanding while balancing the other kids in the class and making sure they received the same attention. She left such a big impact on our daughter with her kindness and professionalism and this was evident with each interaction we had with her and each day our daughter spent with her too. This transition was nerve-racking for us, but Ms. Deloria made it easy and memorable. Thank you for all you have done and continue to do for the kids! Chad Joan Peden As everyone knows, the school secretary is the heart of the school. Here at Hollywood, our school has a giant heart. Mrs. Joan Peden goes above and beyond in performing her job. She is the welcoming smile for everyone who enters the building and sets the tone for their visit. Her love of children shows every day. She also loves "her teachers", as she calls them. Honestly, we will all be lost without her knowledge and help. We love working with Mrs. Peden and are thankful that she is such an important part of Hollywood Elementary. Cindy Janelle Ayers Bus dismissal can be a chaotic time of day for staff and students. While bus students wait for the bus, they are all in the hallway together with not much to do other than chat and wait patiently. The students do the best they can to wait quietly, but it is a lot of fun to be in the hallway with friends chatting and decompressing about their day. One bus line in particular can be a little challenging with our 3rd-5th grade students. Mrs. Ayers volunteered to step in to help out. Instead of asking the students to wait by the wall, Mrs. Ayers chose to engage the students in a game. Mrs. Ayers asked students to generate patterns (clap, clap, stomp, stomp, etc). The students were very excited to participate! They smiled from ear to ear as they were actively engaged with Mrs. Ayers. By taking just a little bit of time out of her day, she made an otherwise challenging time of day so much fun for the students! Samantha Christy Whitelaw Every single day she shows kindness, love empathy, dedication, and she has the biggest heart. Mrs. Whitelaw goes above and beyond for her young five students along with her helper Mrs.Mooney. Encouraging them day in and day out, teaching them so many new things, teaching them a love for reading, and so much more. Her Dedication and Determination is something that truly stands out. Our child along with many others look forward to seeing them every single morning! He looks forward to their morning song everyday too and so much more! Thank you for being amazing and so dedicated to our children, even during the few online learning days, thank you both for making a tough situation, an easier one for them. ♡ Sarah Melissa Rescoe She has always been a great teacher kind, caring, and passionate about her job. Samanthia Mr. Heppler He took the time to work with the children during virtual school on his own time not just during class time Samanthia Louis Noakes Thank you so much for your support of my son. He learned and grew exponentially in your classroom. His social-emotional and self-regulation skills increased more than we ever could have imagined. He's facing some really tough times right now, and he's still holding onto words and motivations he learned from YOU in YOUR classroom! You made a lasting impact that he (and we!) will always remember and be forever grateful for. I cannot even begin to express our gratitude and appreciation to you and your teaching methods. You forever changed our lives for the better! Thank you for everything you do, and I hope you continue for years and years to come. The world needs more teachers like you, and Lakeshore is amazingly lucky to have you! Ariel Mr. Bob (former bus 15 driver) Mr. Bob was my daughters' bus driver until he switched from Bus 15 or retired at the end of first semester this year. Mr. Bob would greet each daughter by name and safely get them to their destinations. He always had a kind word and watched out for their safety. He joked with them, and if the girls were selling something for Girl Scouts or another fundraiser, he was willing to give his support. Mr. Bob will be always be dear to us and we hope he knows how thankful we are for him. Kathy All the sport coaches Our great coaches donate their time to hang out with our kiddos and teach teamwork, sportsmanship, supporting one another, pushing to be your best, and responsibility…all while having a blast. It truly is character building at its best. The kids make lasting friendships that carry over into school and weekend life, through the years..a lifetime. Joyce Dayna Galloway Dayna is continuously an advocate for both students and staff. She spends countless after-school hours meeting with students who have anxiety, feel lost, or just want to connect with her. In addition, she has such a calming manner about her. She truly loves our students, and wants them to love and respect themselves and others. I feel that I can talk to her about anything due to her private nature. She's a true professional in every sense of the word. I'm proud to call her both a friend and a colleague. Rebecca Jackie McGovern Jackie RUNS our school! Not only does she assist in daily tasks, communicate to families, and fix our copier constantly, but she does it all with a smile on her face and love in her heart. She is often the first smile that staff and students see in the building each morning and the last one at the end of the day as well. She puts others before herself ALWAYS- I can't remember a day where Jackie did not ask me how I am doing and tell me that she loves me. This is my first year here at Stewart, and Jackie immediately made me feel welcomed and loved. The students in my class adore her and love to tell stories about the times they get to spend with her. Jackie is so much more than our secretary. Jackie is our family and she deserves all of the recognition in the world. Thank you for being there for us always, the kids and I couldn't do it without you. Love you! Nicole Emily Bilka Emily is a teacher with a very full caseload. Regardless of what she has going on, she is always willing to stop everything she is doing to help a co-worker in need. She will take the time to truly listen and share her expertise in order to help someone in need. Katie Karen Keesler Karen goes above and beyond to meet the individual needs of her students. She plans small group activities to target skills students need additional support with, she modifies her classroom and curriculum to be accessible to each and every one of her students. No matter how much extra time it takes her, Karen assures each of her students knows they are loved, feels part of her classroom community and can learn, grow and flourish in her classroom. Thank you Karen for your hard work! Victoria Cathy Kilboy Cathy is an amazing paraprofessional at our building. She always has such a passionate heart for not just the students she works with, but also with all the students at Stewart. She was telling me about a student she sees each day in the cafeteria and they exchange hellos and kind words. It’s especially adorable that the student takes the time to tell her she is beautiful each day. She told me she had been missing him because he had been out sick, but finally saw him eating in the lunch room. And she was so excited because when he saw her he smiled a giant smile and told her he missed her so much! How special is it that they only see each other in the cafeteria each day and they’ve developed such a special bond. Karen Nicole Oman Nicole is the best first year teacher I have ever met. She cares so much about her students and she has taken everything this year has thrown at her with grace, understanding, and empathy. Not only is she an amazing teacher, but she is also a great friend. She takes time out of her day to check in with me even if she's having a tough day and she's always a shoulder to lean on. She is entirely dedicated to making her classroom and our school in general a safe space to be. Meredith Amy Burton Ms. Burton is very welcoming and genuine. She shows extreme. Dedication to students who need more encouragement and help achieving their academic goals. Amanda Andrea Wheeler bus #6 She is all about the safety of her students,always has a smile and is friendly when she drops students off. She is an example of what a Lancer is. Cait Meredith Lane Mrs. Lane is a 5th-grade teacher at Stewart Elementary. She has so much passion for her craft and makes every day interesting and engaging for her students. On the Chinese New year, she decorated her classroom to celebrate her student's culture and educate their peers. After her fraction unit, she did an extension by turning her room into a "glow bowling" atmosphere where they worked through stations to solve math problems and actually got to bowl in the dark with black lights. Her creativity and excitement for her kiddos are inspiring and I'm lucky to teach alongside her. She makes it a point to bond with each of her students and find common ground based on their interests and incorporate them into her classroom. Tessa Becky Clemons-Rydzinski We are new to Lakeshore Public Schools. We enrolled our daughter in classes this winter semester after a big move and two years of remote/homeschool learning. I will forever be grateful for how warm and welcoming Mrs. Clemons at Stewart Elementary school has been to my daughter.
Moving is always difficult, even more so when you’re eight years old. Mrs. Clemons patiently walked my child through the policies and procedures of classroom and introduced her to some awesome peer mentors to show her the ropes. My daughter was anxious about going back to school at first; she has definitely found a comfortable place and a caring adult in Mrs. Clemons’s classroom. My kiddo is excited to get up and go to school every day.
As a parent, it is nerve-wracking to send your kiddos out into the world. Mrs. Clemons has helped me through the process by being responsive to my email messages. While I don’t know what’s going on all-day every day, I trust that my daughter is in good hands.
Teachers are wonderful people. I thank you all for your service – but a special Thank you to Mrs. Clemons at Stewart Elementary School for going above and beyond.
Amanda Deontrell Smith, Roger Krause, Krystal (not sure last name) Our custodians are unsung heros! They do so much behind the scenes dirty work; snow and ice removal, garbage collection, dead animal removal, vomit clean up, over flowing toilets and daily toilet cleaning just to name a few. On their way to these unpleasant missions, they smile at staff and students with good humor. Sometimes they are caught by a hug of a student and they take time to greet the student and say thanks. When there is a persistent problem, Deontrell will check back until it can be solved. Roger takes time to chat on his route collecting classroom trash at the end of the school day. Krystal always has a smile and a friendly hello.Our custudial team at Hollywood keeps our STARS shining!! Amy Christen Hopkins Christen always has a smile on her face when you enter the high school office. She is always willing to help her co-workers, the students, parents, community members and administration. If there is a question or a problem that comes up, she always has an answer or will find it for you. It is great to work with her and I thank her for all she does. Heather The members of the Lakeshore School Board The members of the Lakeshore Board of Education voluntarily serve our community. Each member does this with integrity, dedication, and passion for our students. Each member contributes their own unique experiences and talents to maintain high expectations, as well as to challenge us to be a leader in this area and in the state.
The last two years have not been easy with the pandemic. The members of the Lakeshore Board of Education has had to make tough decisions. Some of those decisions have been met with opposition, and in the face of that opposition I have observed the members maintain grace, dignity, and professionalism.
Thank you, Lakeshore Board of Education Members, for being champions for our district.
Melissa Laura Sokol Laura is an incredible asset to the Lakeshore community. Laura works with several students who use AAC devices to communicate with others.
I have seen Laura go above and beyond by not only learning how to use the devices for communication, but by using them as innovative tools in the classroom.
Laura’s hard work and dedication have changed the lives of the students she works with. They are lucky to have her!
Kara Andrea Wheeler She has helped my son,nephew,and best friend's son so many times in so many different ways that she could never be replaced the those three boys eyes my son even gave her my cupcake I was supposed to get for his birthday but I was so proud if his for liking her that much he gave it to her. My son has never pike b u s driver till her she makes him smile and laugh when he's mad or sad. Then my daughter really likes her as well and she's very shy and quiet so for her to come outta her shell is a good thing. Kassie The Stewart Para Team The parapros at Stewart Elementary are irreplaceable.
Cheri DeFries, Tina Gourlay, Tanya Mealman, Dawn Harms, Reema Shaw, Adriana Miu, and Kadey Prescott provide small group instruction for students in grades Kindergarten-fifth grade. They have participated in multiple days and hours of training so they can connect the work done in small group to the work done in the classroom in both reading and math. This positively impacts student growth. They plan and execute engaging, skill-based lessons for six grade levels.
Another para team to recognize is Ashley Norris and Connie Gunkel. They check-in with students throughout the day, making sure students' social emotional needs are being met.
Cathy Kilboy, Nanine Cvengros, Denise Schoepf, and Katie Flowers are parapros in the self-contained classrooms for students with cognitive impairments. They collaboratively work with the classroom teachers to meet the individual needs of their students. Their patience is unruffled as they work with students to grow academically, socially, physically, and emotionally.
Additionally, the paras supervise students during recess and lunch. Many of the paras are the first and last faces students see as they cheerfully and safely supervise arrival and dismissal. They have worked hard to build positive relationships with all of our students.
Melissa Mr. Andy Shingledecker Andy is Stewart's beloved Physical Education teacher. If you were to ask our students what their favorite special is, our kindergarten through second grades students would enthusiastically shout "Music & Motion" and our third through fifth grades students would agree by yelling "Gym".
Andy embodies Stewart's P.R.I.D.E. every day.
Perseverance (P) is practiced daily while he cheers on students and challenges them to grow physically.
Andy has invested into building positive, Respectful relationships with each student, and they Respect (R) him.
When students are led back to class, Integrity (I) is shown by students using walking feet and using an appropriate voice level. If students are struggling with integrity, he quietly and calmly reminds them of the expectations.
Andy shows Dedication (D) by planning and executing engaging lessons. Daily, students eagerly share what they do in physical education.
While coaching students during class, Empathy (E) is crucial. Andy gently reminds students to follow the rules so everyone can stay safe.
In addition to teaching 400+ students, Andy is our voice during car dismissal and is instrumental in creating a smooth process.
Trustworthy, dependable, and a team player...a few more words that describe Andy Shingledecker.
Melissa The whole kitchen staff Being a custodian in the school district, mainly being at the high school but subbing out to other schools, not only do I work close to the teachers, students, principles, etc, but I work closely with the kitchen staff. I see each and everyone of them work hard every single day to make sure these kids have a hot meal. For that matter, there are several choices to choose from. Everyone from the high school down to the elementary schools all know what they need to do and just go for it. No questions about it. Everyone is willing to give a helping hand. Cayli Ms Kliemchen The last two years has been a huge learning curve for parents, teachers and students and Ms Kliemchen has taken the time and heart to be present, positive and a safe place for so many during these new uncharted times!
Ms Kliemchen has shown her passion for teaching and children on so many levels. Her dedication to reaching each student, in unique ways that matter to them continues to amaze me! She has a great ability to drive independence of the students while always being an open book for communication.
We appreciate her!
Chrissy Kristi buschlen, Nancy urban, Steve Adler, Jeanne sotnyke, Jim teztlaff, bill magrane, Gregg buschlen, I’ve been thinking about this campaign a lot since seeing it on Facebook and kept coming back to my middle school experience. I graduated in 2010 so am pretty far removed from my time in middle school and a lot of these teachers have moved on. Middle school is by far one of the toughest parts of a kids life. So many transitions happen; you’re not quite a little kid still but certainly not as adult as you think you are. The group of teachers I’ve named, I felt, took a sincere interest in me and my friends and everyday committed to helping us grow and learn to be good humans. I recently had a baby of my own and I sincerely hope when she’s in school she has teachers every year that support her like I was supported. These teachers of course taught us the lesson plan, but they went above and beyond and knew when to take a break and make things fun. Their years of experience and dedication to education were/are such an asset to the district. Amy Joel Hosey Mr. Hosey is remarkable. If we needed to describe him in one word, it would be that, remarkable. He takes the time to get to know his students, not just in a band-teacher sense, but really know them as people. He finds out their interests, passions and helps them to foster those into a love for music. He finds relevant music that catches the attention of the students that he teaches and really pushes them and gives them the desire to perform well. Our son has had the privilege of having Mr. Hosey as a band teacher for the last three school years while attending Lakeshore Middle School. When the pandemic hit, it didn't stop Mr. Hosey from ensuring that his students continued to practice their instruments and learn from others while at home. He found musicians videos, had the students study those musicians and their genre of music, which kept his class lively and they all thrived. We had the pleasure of watching Mr. Hosey in action a few times while our son was online learning from him, and we could see his passion and dedication to his students and teaching. There is no question that the pandemic changed education for a bit, but Mr. Hosey wasn't going to allow that to stop his students from learning. He offered virtual band class for those students that chose to stay home last school year and participate in Lakeshore's Virtual Program. Three mornings a week he poured into those kids that were home learning, maybe muting them a few times as we all know playing instruments over Google Meet probably wasn't quality, but he did it with a smile on his face. Sometimes, that was the only other human our son saw that week besides the people that lived in his home and he looked forward to his "live" band classes each week. From the bottom of our hearts we can't thank Mr. Hosey enough for the musical inspiration he has provided our son. By seeing the musical passion and drive within Mr. Hosey, our son now has that same fire in his eyes to succeed and do his best within music. For that, we will forever be grateful for this experience. Mr. Hosey was an amazing addition to the Lakeshore Band Program and we hope that he will continue to inspire others the way that he did our son. Cassie and Casey Allison Graves Allison is an amazing teacher. Kind, compassionate, and just enough toughness to keep the kiddos from walking all over her. You can see the love she has for teaching her students and connects with each one on an individual level. She truly cares and it shows. Hope Megan Hines Mrs. Hines is the guidance counselor at Roosevelt Elementary. My daughter used to attend Roosevelt and Mrs. Hines was there for Anna everytime she needed her from Kindergarten through Fifth grade. Kristen Leah Reusser Mrs. Reusser makes every child in her class feel valued, heard, and loved. She comes to work each day with a smile and warmth in her heart. My son transferred to Stewart and was very nervous to start at a new school. She immediately made him feel welcome by sending a video tour of her classroom and had his desk picked out. Each morning she greets her students as they go over the day and share out their homework from the night before. She has been so accommodating to the specific needs of each child and created a classroom full of love and trust. She has fun projects throughout the year that go above and beyond the curriculum to make learning extra special. Tessa Mrs. Lori Kuntz Mrs. Kuntz was the best teacher for me. She loved me. When I was embarrassed about my reading she helped me with my confidence. Mrs. Kuntz made learning fun. I wanted to learn when I was with her. She felt like family and I knew I was safe with her. I love Mrs. Kuntz so much. Hannah Miss Perkins Thank you for being a good teacher. Mrs. Perkins explains things well. She is funny. She also has encouraged me to do good. She told me I was smart. She told me I could go with the flow and see where that takes me or do my best and do great things. Thank you Mrs. Perkins. Jacob Dayna Galloway and Nicholas White Some students on one of our buses at Stewart Elementary needed a reminder of the behaviors we want to see on the bus. The students and bus driver were feeling frustrated and needed to get on the same page.
Dayna and Nicholas took the initiative to meet together to support the students and the driver. Dayna met with the students on the bus to hear their concerns and better understand what was happening. Nicholas met with the driver to do the same. Then Dayna and Nicholas met together with the driver to share the lesson plan that would be given to the students. Dayna then taught the lesson to the students twice.
Their teamwork and collaboration led to a partnership that not only benefits our staff and students in the short-term but in the long-term. Dayna and Nicholas went above and beyond to support our Stewart Family!
Samantha Mrs.Haydon (3rd grade teacher) My son Kye transferred to LakeShore in the middle of the year. Mrs.Haydon was so warm and welcoming. His first day was on Valentines Day and she made sure to have everyone make him a valentine, and even had his own bag for him already made sitting on his desk. She has gone above and beyond with her communication and reassurance. I could not have picked a better teacher for my son in a new school. Brittney Tara Dent-Reeves I think anyone that has ever had interaction with this teacher understands why she would be nominated for this award. Tara goes above and beyond every single day to make students feel seen, heard and loved. She is one of the most genuine souls we have encountered and completely changed the way my son felt about school. She is not just another teacher, she is one that years from now my child will look back on and say that she helped shape the person he is, because she did just that. Thank you for simply being a kind and genuine person in this world. It’s a better place because of you. Erin John Vroon As I struggled in my senior year, Mr. Vroon never gave up on me. He offered me many chances to turn in late work, took the time to make sure I was doing ok, and was always patient with me. He inspired me to get more into accounting and I wouldn’t be where I am today without his guidance. Jennifer Melissa Rescoe Melissa Rescoe is the glue that holds the Stewart Family together. There are innumerable reasons why Melissa deserves so much more than a thank you! She is a cornerstone of our Stewart Family!
Melissa has boosted the brains of all our students through careful, data-driven decision making. She does the unthinkable by managing differentiated groups for all of our 432 students. She works closely with our support staff and teachers to plan high-quality instruction for every student for a 30 minute block four times a week. These groups are flexible, constantly changing, and meet the needs of our students.
Not only has Melissa totally transformed Brain Boosters, but she always is thinking of what our students need and want. She creates fun lessons for the students in her groups and encourages our staff to take risks in their lessons for our students. She is enthusiastic in her planning and often finds hands-on learning opportunities for our students.
Melissa is everyone’s biggest cheerleader! She bought inflatable guitars to encourage our 3-5 grade students to rock MSTEP. She greeted the students on each testing day by “playing” the guitar and giving a positive greeting. She comments on every social media post, cheering on all the fun, exciting things happening at Stewart. She sends notes of encouragement, gives the most amazing hugs, and will drop everything to support you, whether you are a teacher, a paraprofessional or a building principal.
Melissa is an advocate and a friend to our entire teaching staff at Stewart and at Lakeshore! She tirelessly advocates for her colleagues on CMC. She creates fun, motivational bulletin boards for the teachers at Stewart. She delivers sweets and other yummy treats to all buildings on days when she seems to know the staff needs it the most. She has paid money out of her own pocket to deliver snacks to teachers and has bought Red Coach donuts on almost every Wednesday morning.
She is also incredibly thoughtful! Have a birthday coming up? Surgery in your future? Loss in the family? Addition to your family? Melissa has the kindest gifts and cards for every one of those situations and more. She leads our Sunshine Committee, plans ways to recognize members of our staff, and works alongside our PTO to love on each member of the Stewart Family.
I could list to many more ways how Melissa shows Stewart Family PRIDE each day. She is one of the most kind, empathetic and loving people I have ever met. Stewart Elementary, Lakeshore Public Schools, and our entire community is better off because she is in it.
Samantha Kim Mishler Kim Mishler demonstrates dedication to her student by caring for and teaching the whole child. She has fun with them, plays with them at recess, takes interest in their interests, grows them emotionally and puts them in a great place to then learn and grow academically. Her students feel loved and cared for and will never forget her. Casey Mr Shing Mr Shing brings joy to all the students. He laughs with them, remembers them and creates a fun a carefree part of their day. Since kindergarten, my kids have loved PE days! No matter what else is going on in school that day, they have a highlight if they have PE Casey Melissa Rescoe Melissa pushes and challenges students academically. She teaches them that failure isn’t just okay but a great way to learn and grow. If you aren’t making mistakes, you might not be challenging yourself enough. She taught my little perfectionist to make mistakes and created a massive passion for learning in 1st grade that she still has today. Casey Hollywood 1st Grade Team: Kari Butcher, Amy Deloria, Melissa Plummer This dynamic team of 1st Grade Teachers have gone above and beyond to find the time once a week for SNAIL time: Science, Nature and Integrated Literature. This is learning at its core: engagement in literacy, hands-on activities, kid friendly topics and life long memories of learning. Our own first grader is in love with Thursday SNAIL time, and eagerly anticipates it each week. We are so thankful that in the midst of carrying out academic standards these teachers have found a unique and fun way to engage their students in the world right outside the classroom. Asking questions, getting dirty, building memories and learning so so much!!! Thank you 1st Grade Teachers for making learning fun and memorable! Emily Jonathan Paulus The summer before going into 3rd grade, my daughter was diagnosed with mild ADHD and dysgraphia (irregular, inconsistent handwriting). We met with Mrs. Kyncl, Mrs. Hines and Mr. Paulus before school started for the year and they came up with a plan to help her succeed in 3rd grade. Mr. Paulus printed special paper for her to do math and writing assignments. He allowed her to dictate some writing assignments to me while I typed. He also made a list of goals for her and shared them with us so we could keep her on track. If he noticed her getting fidgety in class, he allowed her to take a walk around the school so she could come back and focus. I truly believe he cares for all of his students and Roosevelt is so lucky to have him! Natalie Christine Parm Our daughter Amelie has come SO far this year! As a homeschool student, she started this year not only new to Hollywood elementary, but new to public schools in general. There was a lot for her to adapt and adjust to during this difficult process. To say Ms Parm went above and beyond would be an understatement. If we ever had questions or concerns, she was always available, courteous, patient, kind and extremely helpful. Even if it was after hours, Ms Parm has always been there when we needed her. She went out of her way to make sure Amelie felt welcome, safe and found her place socially as well as making sure she was on par academically. Ms Parm is an expert at balancing the tasks of guiding her class as a whole with also getting to know each and every student and making sure they get the attention and care they need as individuals. She has the patience of a saint and always knows when to challenge her students and when to show compassion and empathy. It is abundantly clear that she puts her heart and soul into her work and truly cares for our youth. The monumental positive impact she has made on this world through her students is unfathomable, all I know is we are beyond lucky that Amelie ended up in her classroom. Ms Parm is a passionate and dedicated educator. A true hero. We are eternally grateful for all she has done for our daughter and for everything she continues to do for our community! Thank you Ms Parm! David Diana Eberhardt Early school career experiences can have such an amazing and everlasting impact on a young learner and Ms. Eberhardt exemplifies a teacher who believes and lives it wholeheartedly! She has brought so much love and heart into her students in her Young-5s Kindergarten classroom and it has been a joy to see our young-5er grow this year. From the very first parent information night, Mrs. Eberhardt reassured that the extra Kindergarten year is such a gift of time to give a child and we've truly seen that come to light. Ms. Eberhardt incorporated not only the academic skills and learning behaviors needed for next year but made true connections with each student to meet their unique levels of need. When challenges were needed or extra support in another area, Ms. Eberhardt creatively and lovingly met that need. Her extra attention to details and encouragement has made all the difference and we have been so lucky to have Ms. Eberhardt for the start of an amazing school career for our son! Ms. Eberhardt truly teaches with HEART! Katie Mrs. Tomaszewski Mrs. Tomaszewski (Mrs. T) is such a gem! From the early start of the morning in the car line, Mrs. T always has the biggest smile and warmest greeting for each student she sees. She has such great enthusiasm and loving energy for the little learners in the Young-5s classroom. She is always eager to give support in any way and her students feel that special care. We have been so lucky to have Mrs. T for the start of an amazing school career for our son! Mrs. T truly supports her students and Roosevelt with HEART! Katie Mrs. Vanderweide She is always thorough, kind, compassionate, and patient. Always checking in on the students and parents. She always goes above and beyond. Kimberly Katie Woodard Katie takes the extra time to go above and beyond to bring blood drives to Lakeshore HS that allows students to engage in these lifesaving events and teaches the students the importance of community and saving the lives of their fellow community members. Kathleen Amy Perkins Over the years, Amy Perkins has impressed me with her drive to provide more for the kids than just in class teachings. This is evident in her willingness to coordinate school trips to Boston, take kids to U-M for special presentations, and so much more. She truly has a love of history and for the world we live in and the kids benefit so much from that. Both of my daughters have had her for history classes over the years and their love of history and social science is due in large part to Ms. Perkins. Lakeshore is extremely lucky to have her. Tracey