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The Goddard School® Announces National Teacher of the Year Honorees

Teachers Recognized During National Teacher Appreciation Week

The Goddard School, the premier preschool focusing on learning through play for children from six weeks to six years old, held its eighth annual “Teacher of the Year” competition and, in conjunction with National Teacher Appreciation Week, May 5-9, have selected five exceptional early childhood educators for recognition.

Each “Teacher of the Year” honoree from The Goddard School developed a long-term project that has benefitted their classroom, school or community. Projects from the selected teachers include a Spanish Immersion program; a Weather Station initiative that uses a hands-on approach to learn about the environment; a project that promotes Tolerance, Diversity, Teamwork and Technology and finally, a Fitness and Nutrition Education program.

“At The Goddard School, we select teachers for their ability to nurture children into respectful, confident and joyful learners; it’s not surprising that this year’s competition was extremely close,” said Dr. Craig Bach, Vice President of Education at Goddard Systems, Inc. “With more than 10,000 Goddard School teachers nationwide, the Teacher of the Year recognition is a true honor. We are extremely proud of each of this year’s winners and are grateful for their commitment to go above and beyond for the children.”

The following teachers were honored:

Maria Ravelli – Auburn, MA
Maria Ravelli, a preschool teacher at The Goddard School located in Auburn, MA, developed a dynamic Spanish Immersion program, utilizing the second language for classroom instruction. Maria’s approach involves speaking in Spanish while her co-teacher engages the class in English, resulting in a 50 percent immersion classroom. Conceived two years ago, the program is designed to teach children not only about the Spanish language but about the culture as well. Music and movement, food, literacy and dramatic play are all vital components to this well-rounded program. The program was so well received that Maria expanded the program to promote family engagement by recording audio files of herself speaking Spanish which are then shared with parents. Maria is the eighth consecutive Teacher of the Year recipient for The Goddard School located in Auburn, MA.

Tracy Imes – Medina, OH
Tracy Imes, kindergarten teacher at The Goddard School located in Medina, OH, developed the Weather Station program, a hands-on approach to learning about the environment. The weather station is located in the preschool play area and is visible to the children even when they are in the classroom. Utilizing Science Inquiry and Application to observe the natural environment, the children communicate their observations by creating monthly weather logs to track how the weather changes with each season. To investigate how water changes with the weather, previous experiments have included making “rain” in a jar with ice cubes and growing ice crystals.

Krystal Ames & Diana Butrim – Third Lake, IL
Krystal Ames and Diana Butrim, kindergarten teachers at The Goddard School located in Third Lake, IL, set out to create A Year-Long Program to Promote Tolerance, Diversity, Teamwork and Technology and decided to partner with the Special Education District of Lake County (SEDOL), a special education co-op that is on the cutting edge of providing outstanding education to those with severe disabilities. Krystal and Diana’s aim was to have the children in their class interact with special needs students via letters and Skype with the goal of fostering tolerance and acceptance of people’s differences. The kindergarteners showed the students at SEDOL how technology is utilized in The Goddard School kindergarten classroom. At their Valentine’s Day dance, the children also created rubber band bracelets and held a fundraiser for SEDOL.

Maureen MooreGlastonbury, CT
Maureen Moore, preschool teacher at The Goddard School located in Glastonbury, CT, designed and implemented the Fitness, Nutrition and Education program after coordinating her School’s participation in the Sandy Hook Run for the Families in Hartford, CT. The run was such a success that it inspired Maureen, affectionately known as “Ms. Mo” by the children, to create lesson plans that promote outdoor activity for the entire School. To encourage family involvement and connection, Maureen includes fitness activities and nutrition facts in the School’s monthly newsletters. She also established a “Community Garden” that the children help to cultivate. When fall arrives, the children plan to harvest the vegetables to create fun and healthy food options.