Left: Teacher of the Month Katie Flaiz is pictured with Cherrington Principal Andy Heck, WEF Executive Director Colleen Moidu, and WEF representative Bob Gibson. Center: Gibson, Moidu, Walnut Springs Principal Becca Yanni, Teacher of the Month Sharon Owens, and Walnut Assistant Principal Ernest Clinkscale. Right: Moidu, Teacher of the Month Diana Arko, Gibson, and Central Principal Tom Lanier.
The Westerville Education Foundation (WEF) named three educators Teacher of the Month for February – Katie Flaiz, Cherrington Elementary; Sharon Owens, Walnut Springs Middle School; and Diana Arko, Westerville Central High School.
Katie Flaiz is described by her nominator as inspirational and supportive of her community. “I see Katie everyday having thousands of positive interactions with her kindergarteners, many who this may be their first experience in school.” Ms. Flaiz is not only supportive in her classroom, but is sure to take part in other events throughout the school. “Along with using social media to communicate with her parents, she is seen at many community events supporting our students. The latest is developing a Cougars with Kindness initiative. Students can share random acts of kindness and ways to make our community better.” Her nominator concludes by saying, “Katie exemplifies many great attributes of what I would find to be the teacher of the month.”
Sharon Owens is described by her nominator as engaging and caring. “She played a huge part in not just my middle experience, but every single one of her students,” says his nominator. With her nomination coming from a student, it is evident that Ms. Owens has had a positive impact in the classroom. “She managed balance work and play in her classroom, and her open conversations made it more realistic to life outside of school maker her class engaging and educational.” Her nominator concludes by saying, “Ms. Owens is, in my opinion, the best teacher in the Westerville school district! If any teacher deserves this award, it’s Ms. Owens.”
Diana Arko is described by her nominator as helpful and motivating. “Mrs. Arko goes above and beyond to help her students. Whether it’s countless number of hours used to explain the content or motivating her students to reach the impossible,” her nominator said. Mrs. Arko works with her students to ensure they reach their full potential. “The way she presents the rigorous scientific concepts really aids in her student’s success.” Her nominator concludes by saying, “Mrs. Arko has a way with connecting with her students. She truly is something special.”
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.