Westerville South High School Educators Earn OCTELA Presentation Award

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Noelle Spriestersbach and Sarah Detrick received the Dr. Cindy Bowman Presentation Endowment, along with a $100 award, at the OCTELA conference.




A number of educators from the Westerville City School District presented sessions at the Ohio Council of Teachers of English Language Arts (OCTELA) conference held March 1-2 at the Double Tree Worthington.  Two from Westerville South High School walked away with the Dr. Cindy Bowman Presentation Endowment – Sarah Detrick, English Language Arts teacher, and Noelle Spriestersbach, clinician/school social worker.  Their topic was Connections, Relationships, and Social-Emotional Learning in the Classroom, centering on delivering classroom approaches to build everyday life skills and critical relationships.  This session provided the “why” (studies about the brain and emotional health) as well as the “how” (hands-on activities).  The award is named for Dr. Cindy Bowman, a past president of OCTELA who was said to have embraced life in all of its wonder and challenges.  The honor is presented to a breakout session submission that exemplifies the enthusiasm and dedication to education that was part of Dr. Bowman’s life. 

The theme of this year’s conference was Lighting the Fire: Inspiring Creativity in Teaching and Learning.  It was planned by OCTELA Conference Chair and President-Elect Jen Baker from Westerville South High School.  Other Westerville presenters included:

  • Stepping Up and Speaking Out!: English Language Arts Teachers Advocating for Sexual and Gender Diversity in Schools, by Dr. Jill Williams, Westerville City Schools , Dr. Caroline Clarke and Jenell Igeleke Penn, The Ohio State University, and Courtney Johnson, Columbus City Schools;
  • Get Your VABB On!  Creating the Culturally Responsive Classroom, by Latresa Rieves, Kate Mantenieks, Kari Tucker, and Bridget Hilinski, Westerville City Schools;
  • Teaching Film as Narrative, by Emily Swank-Kavanaugh, Westerville South High School; and
  • Creativity in Teaching Controversial Topics: Race Relations Rap Remix, by Cat Stathulis and John Sands, Westerville North High School.