The Westerville Education Foundation (WEF) named three educators Teacher of the Month for December – Kari Tucker, Robert Frost Elementary School; Patrick Acocks, Heritage Middle School; and Sherri Pastiva, Walnut Springs Middle School. Each received a certificate and $100 to spend on classroom activities.
Kari Tucker was nominated by Cassie Mumm, the parent of one of her students. Mumm describes Mrs. Tucker’s ability to see and serve every child’s special needs, including her own daughter. “Whether it is allowing her to leave the classroom, giving her a much needed shoulder to lean on, or donating puzzles from home to give her something to focus on, she has been an absolute game changer for our daughter,” said Mumm. In addition, Tucker is involved with her students and their families outside of school hours as well as she attends extra-curricular activities and is actively supportive of the PTA. “Kari goes above and beyond to help every student, recognizing the specific needs of students excelling as well as those falling behind,” said added. “We truly appreciate her dedication, kindness and generosity of spirit.”
Patrick Acocks’ nominator, Amy Miracle, describes him as an innovative educator who inspires interest in the subject matter and creates real connections with his students. “He often designs challenges in the classroom to spark learning...that motivates my son to learn about past events in the classroom and at home,” she said. She also describes the way Acocks connects with his students on a personal level by noticing things like the band name on their t-shirt. “Kids appreciate it when a mentor sees the many layers to their onion.” Miracle also details the great care that Acocks has taken as chair for the 8th grade Washington D.C. trips to ensure the trips are safe, educational, inclusive and fun.
Sherri Pastiva is a teacher at Walnut Springs Middle School who was nominated by Paula Lynch. Lynch describes Pastiva as a patient, kind and resourceful teacher who goes above and beyond for her students. “She loves what she does and it shows in every single thing she does,” said Lynch. She also describes her effect on her son and their family stating, “My son has truly been changed under her guidance. Words cannot express how much she means to the kids and adults that she serves at Walnut Springs.” As an example of this servant leadership approach, Pastiva and Principal Becca Yanni recently organized a fundraiser that generated $1,274 to support a student who is battling a cancerous brain tumor.
The Westerville Education Foundation’s Teacher of the Month Program is sponsored by Education First Credit Union and ThisWeek Community News, with support from Otterbein University. The Mission of the Westerville Education Foundation is to enrich the learning experience and broaden the minds of our students through the funding and support of innovative educational programs. To nominate, give or join, please visit www.WestervilleEducationFoundation.com.