Each honoree is selected by their district administration based on each teacher’s belief that all students can and want to learn, their desire to make a significant difference in students’ lives, their commitment to professional development, and for their outstanding classroom skills and leadership. Read about this year's recipients below. 


C-TEC of Licking County

Andrea Scott


Intervention Specialist

Selected by district administration for:

o  Exceptional teaching skills and dedication to students.

o  Outstanding contributions to the school community and commitment to empowering students to make a positive impact.

o  Innovative approaches to teaching and commitment to helping students serve their community, both through her classes and extracurricular activities.

o  Teaching that models high standards for herself and her students, and continually seeks ways to inspire and motivate them.

o  Understanding the importance of instilling a love for literature and language in her students, as well as equipping them with the skills they need to succeed academically and beyond.

o  Ability to create an engaging and inclusive classroom environment, supported by glowing feedback from both students and colleagues in her nomination.



Granville Exempted Village Schools

Jennifer Glaser

Granville Intermediate School

Intervention Specialist

Selected by district administration for:

o  Being professional, knowledgeable, confident and talented.

o  Ability to address the diverse academic and social emotional needs of her students.

o  Setting high expectations for herself and her learners and fostering consistent and caring relationships.

o  Advocating for those who cannot do so for themselves.

o  Working tirelessly with families and other teachers.

o  Collaborating with Granville Intermediate School teachers, administrators, and district staff to create and implement PBIS protocols.

o  Constantly reflecting and refining her daily practices and refusing to let any obstacle or challenge get in her way. 

o  Modeling devotion, intelligence, and compassion and inspiring everyone who works with her, and encouraging others to achieve their best.



Heath City Schools

Danielle Higgins

Heath Middle School

8th Grade Science

Selected by district administration for:

o  Maintaining high expectations for her students and believing that all students are capable of success.

o  Increasing student growth and achievement, evidenced by a fifteen percent increase in the passage rate for 8th grade science in the last two years  

o  Taking on the responsibility for her students’ learning and continuing to be relentless in her pursuit of higher achievement.

o  Pushing those around her to improve by encouraging her students to invest in their learning, instilling the art of setting goals and strategies for monitoring their progress. Her students are truly invested in the outcomes of their work, feeling pride in their successes.

o  Investing significant effort into improving not only her classroom but the entire school by serving on the district leadership team, being a strong voice on the building leadership team, and working tirelessly with her team teachers to continuously find solutions that result in improvement.



Johnstown-Monroe Local Schools

Megan York

Johnstown Elementary School

Physical Education

Selected by district administration for:

o  Commitment to meeting the needs of every student.

o  Lesson planning approach that engages students.

o  Differentiating and scaffolding lessons so that even students with physical limitations can participate and feel fully included in the classroom activities.

o  Creativity, team player spirit and flexibility, and always willing to support other teachers, accommodating schedules as needed.

o  Putting students first and advocating for all students and their success.

o  Welcoming students to school every morning in front of the school, making sure they start their day with a positive greeting and hug. 

o  Enthusiasm from students who are excited to see her and even more excited when she reminds them that they will have her for specials that day.



Lakewood Local School District

Michelle Vayansky

Lakewood Middle School

6th Grade ELA

Selected by district administration for:

o  Being an engaged educator.

o  Seeking to help each child grow and achieve their full potential.

o  Eagerly participating in professional development and desiring to improve her craft.

o  Serving as a leader in her building on both the Building Leadership Team and as one of the Student Council Advisors.

o  Bringing energy and enthusiasm to her teaching and being a professional and proactive colleague.



Licking Heights Local School District

Kelli Weaver

North Elementary

Title 1 / Reading Specialist

Selected by district administration for:

o  Student success evidenced by the great gains her students have made both last year when she worked in a full inclusion classroom with an Intervention Specialist and this year after she moved to the Title 1 / Reading Specialist role.

o  Kindness and a quick sense of humor that warrants itself to students wanting to build relationships with her, and her zest for life, quick smile and easy laugh.

o  Digging deeper when students are struggling, to determine if it’s social/emotional, developmental, cognitive or adaptive so she knows how they can best be reached.

o  Thinking outside the box and always searching for innovative ways to meet the needs of and engage students.

o  Earning the respect of her colleagues with her hard work, easy-going personality and dedication.

o  A passion for lifelong learning, inquiring about future learning and professional development opportunities to better herself, her school and her craft as a whole.



Licking Regional Educational Services Center

Robyn Mills

Phoenix Central

Intervention Specialist

Selected by district administration for:

o  An unwavering commitment to foster a conducive learning environment that has been nothing short of remarkable.

o  Exceptional communication skills, demonstrating a rare ability to articulate ideas with clarity and empathy whether interacting with students, parents, or colleagues.

o  Excelling at collaborating with her peers and recognizing the importance of teamwork, actively engaging with fellow educators to share insights, exchange ideas, and collectively elevating the standard of education in the local community.

o  Unwavering in her commitment to meeting the diverse needs of her students and creating an inclusive environment.

o  Applying personalized and student-centered approaches to ensure that each learner receives the support required for their individual growth.

o  Dedication that has not only contributed to the academic success of her students but has also left a lasting impact on their lives.



Licking Valley Local Schools

Adam Britton

Licking Valley Middle School

6th Grade Math

Selected by district administration for:

o  Always being prepared for the day and ensuring that his colleagues are prepared and is always willing to offer a hand to anyone that is in need.

o  A tried-and-true method of teaching that has yielded consistent student growth; he is never complacent, as he continues to find ways to improve his practice, including volunteering to become accredited to offer gifted services through the Licking Regional ESC.

o  Studying high-quality student data and partnered with a data analyst to find gaps that might need to be filled or addressed.

o  Completing coursework for classroom management and positive behavior reinforcement and employing different techniques to connect with students.

o  Always being the first to volunteer for student activities such as scooter races, castle ball tournaments, or staff vs. student competition because he wants to be relatable and approachable to his students, which pays major dividends when it comes to student growth inside and outside of the classroom.

o  Most significantly, is always asked by students to hand them their diploma on graduation day.



Newark City Schools

Elizabeth Crist

Hillview Elementary

Intervention Specialist

Selected by district administration for:

o  Modeling leadership in her building, department and district.

o  Exemplifying professionalism and making decisions based on what is best for students, using data and experience to guide her.

o  Staying involved in her school community, meeting with students each Tuesday after school as one of the Yoga Club leaders.

o  Working on goals that specifically help each child make gains in their academic performance and it is evidenced by the performance data of her students.

o  Bringing her maturity and expertise to help elevate higher levels of focus and calm to meetings.

o  Most importantly, fostering caring and strong relationships with students and they are always smiling and positive when they interact with her. They enjoy watching their own growth and earning “brain bucks” to use in her boutique.

o  Building strong, positive relationships with parents who often share how much their children miss her when they transition to middle school.



North Fork Local School District

Barbara Almendinger

North Fork Middle School

8th Grade ELA

Selected by district administration for:

o  Exemplifying being a professional educator in every sense, well liked and respected by all her peers.

o  Maintains a great rapport with her students and is able to get the most out of them.

o  Demonstrating building leadership as the 8th grade Washington D.C. Advisor, a member of the building leadership team and provides after-school tutoring four days a week.

o  Identifying a need and paying for the training for her dog Scout to be a School Therapy Dog.

o  Constantly looking for ways to improve her building in creating a safe, welcoming learning culture.

o  Doing a great job of mentoring younger teachers, providing them with advice and support.

o  “She is everything you could want in a teacher.”



Northridge Local Schools

Ashley Ramsey

Northridge Elementary School

Instructional Coach

Selected by district administration for:

o  Possessing a unique combination of qualities that make her an exceptional teacher leader.

o  Contributing to creating a positive and effective educational environment through her dedication, active listening skills, teamwork, creativity, and proficiency in technology and graphic design.

o  Her commitment to putting the needs of the students first, going the extra mile, and demonstrating tenacity in enriching district curricula and instruction is truly commendable.

o  Making a significant impact in her role, not only in terms of her technical skills but also in fostering a supportive and student-focused learning atmosphere.

o  Serving as an asset to her students, colleagues and the broader educational system.



Southwest Licking Schools

Kelly Parker

Watkins Middle School

Heath / Physical Education

Selected by district administration for:

o  Being a tremendous teacher and human being.

o  Exemplifying the role of a consummate professional, advocate, and community member in Southwest Licking Schools.

o  Demonstrating an incredible ability to connect and educate the children at Watkins Middle School.

o  Serving, without a doubt, as one of the strongest instructional leaders in her district.

o  Planning lessons that always display a high level of differentiation, engagement, and real-world problem solving.

o  Partnering with multiple outside organizations and interdistrict personnel to ensure that standards and skills are transferable to life.

o  Demonstrating leadership in her district, serving on the building leadership team as a representative for teacher leaders, heading up the staff morale committee, and serving as a member of the district’s wellness committee.