Rotary Club of Des Moines Names Teachers of the Year
Five Des Moines Public Schools educators have been named 2012 Teachers of the Year by the Rotary Club of Des Moines for their impact on students, co-workers and the community. This year’s honorees are:
• Michelle Howe, Capitol View Elementary School Literacy Leader
• Seith Monahan, Lincoln High School Special Education Teacher
• Beth Olkiewicz, Brody Middle School Sixth Grade Reading/Language Arts
• Laurie Phillips, Lincoln High School Visual Arts Teacher
• Mary Simmons, McKinley Elementary School ELL Teacher
Nominated by their school principals, each winner received a cash award of $1,000 and a travelling plaque during a ceremony and luncheon today at the Wakonda Club.
Two elementary school teachers were named Elementary Teachers of the Year. They are Michelle Howe, Capitol View Elementary School Literacy Leader; and Mary Simmons, McKinley Elementary School ELL Teacher.
“Michelle is an energetic, positive, productive, visionary, and highly respected member of the Capitol View staff,” said Marcia Johnson, Capitol View Elementary School Principal. “Her off hours are spent researching to find the latest techniques and instructional tools for teachers to use as they work to meet the individual needs of our students. She also plans and orchestrates parental involvement activities. These have always been highly successful events which cover the full range of our curriculum.”
“Ms. Simmons extends her impact beyond the ELL students at our school,” said Sherry Amos, McKinley Elementary School Principal. “She participates in and organizes many of our school activities. She also works closely with our parents and our community. She has excellent communication skills, dedication, and mature professionalism.”
Beth Olkiewicz, Brody Middle School Sixth Grade Reading/Language Arts Teacher, was selected as the Middle School Teacher of the Year.
“Mrs. Olkiewicz is an outstanding teacher of middle school students. She brings tremendous experience and knowledge of reading, writing and speaking to her students,” said Randy Gordon, Brody Middle School Principal. “She creates a learning climate which is focused and exciting. Her enthusiasm for her content and love and respect for the young people in her classroom make it a place that I wish all students could experience.”
Seith Monahan, Lincoln High School Special Education Teacher, was named Special Education Teacher of the Year.
“Seith is a well-respected member of the Lincoln Railsplitter faculty. He gets the best out of each and every one of his students,” said Paul Williamson, Lincoln High School Principal. “Seth is a master at building relationships with all students. He inquires about their home life, their social community, and their current and future goals; and shares his personal stories with students when appropriate. Seith takes all this information about him and the students and weaves it into his lessons wherever possible.”
Lincoln High School Visual Arts Teacher Laurie Phillips was named High School Teacher of the Year.
“Ms. Phillips has high expectations for all students and makes sure she sets the example,” said Paul Williamson, Lincoln High School Principal. “Whereas Ms. Phillips may be full of energy and share her passion with students, it doesn’t stop here. Laurie understands and believes in school-wide efforts. She has always supported school goals according to her peers. This year Laurie is actively including literacy activities in her classrooms as this is a focus for Lincoln High School.”
The mission of Rotary International, a worldwide association of Rotary clubs, is to provide service to others, to promote high ethical standards, and to advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace through its fellowship of business, professional, and community leaders.