MMS Sixth Grade teacher, Whitney Decker, is the MI Above and Beyond Elementary Teacher of the Year for 2020. Her nominations came from current and former parents.
“Whitney makes learning fun! She goes above and beyond in every way in teaching. Not only was she incremental in helping Mason city schools pass the Levy, but during remote learning she has worked hard to make the students feel special including stopping at their individual houses with treats. She has weekly, if not daily, communication with students and parents making sure everyone is up-to-date with what is going on as well as wanting to learn about their lives outside of the classroom during this strange time. She is a teacher that truly cares about her students and their families in every way!
Outside of the classroom, Whitney was our go-to teacher for the Mason Levy. She attended almost every meeting, captained the teacher campaign, collected signatures, canvassed every day, called parents, and personally connected with every teacher and staff member who did not vote 1 week before the April 28th deadline.“
Mason Elementary School Teacher of the Year
ME Fourth Grade teacher, Terri Thacker, is the ME Above and Beyond Elementary Teacher of the Year for 2020. Her nominations came from parents and students.
“Her style of teaching is amazing and she is very hard working. I have never seen a teacher who dedicates 1 hour of online teaching in this pandemic to read a loud a book to her 4th grader’s! Her unique way of motivating kids to write is impressive and not just write, she checks every line, story or essay and gives directions for improvement. How she helped my daughter improve handwriting, grammar and stamina is outstanding. She went above and beyond before and during the pandemic! Out of the many day to day above and beyond examples, I chose the one that gave direction to my child’s future. Ms. Thacker was quick to analyze my daughter can pick up reading and writing. She motivated her to write and read daily, helped her chose the right material. How to improvise and keep her engaged without overdoing it. Today my child is part of book club, and has read 3 Harry Potter’s! This is just the story of one student! And its possible because of Ms. Thacker.”
Mason Early Childhood Center Teacher of the Year
MECC Kindergarten teacher, Elizabeth Weddle, is the MECC Above and Beyond Elementary Teacher of the Year for 2020. Her nominations came from other staff members.
“Elizabeth is ALWAYS helping others, but this year she not only helped us learn new things or figure out problems – she helped our Kindergarten staff so that we ALL could make our Remote Learning successful for our students. Our students and families (and us!) were starting from scratch as we did not use these platforms with our young learners. It was A LOT of learning for classroom teachers. Technology is Elizabeth’s strength and we all looked to her for help. She never let any of us down. She would reply to a text or an email in minutes, figure out problems even when she didn’t know the solutions initially and went out and found things and answers to help everything we were using run smoother (often times before the rest of us even knew to ask – ha!). Elizabeth didn’t just take her students Above and Beyond, she helped our Kindergarten staff to be able to take ALL of our students Above and Beyond. She works tirelessly and is always humble and will just say, “it’s what we do for kids” or “it’s what our kids deserve.” We would like to be able to take an opportunity to celebrate her and thank her for helping us to be able to allow us to express our creativity, reach out to our students and teach them and love them through this unprecedented time. I remember I had come up with an idea for a lesson and I had spent forever trying to get the technology part to work (to add an extra interactive part), I reached out to her and at first she didn’t know. I said not to worry about it, I would just leave that part out and she said, “no, there’s got to be a way, we will figure it out so you can do it.” Of course, she did figure it out (and I’m so glad she did , the lesson was much better with that interactive piece!). This year, this pandemic, the saying was – we will get through this together. Elizabeth helped make us Better Together!”