Paula Hickey, second grade teacher at Loveland Elementary School
Nominated by Angela Laman: "Paula was my daughter’s teacher this past year. She was an excellent teacher in assisting my daughter in keeping her engaged and challenged as she required and wanted more work in the classroom. My daughter also had a rough year with strep throat that required her to miss the last few weeks of school due to an emergency tonsillectomy. During my daughter’s recovery, Paula was experiencing her own stress with her mother’s illness. Her mother passed away the day before the last day of school, and she still showed up at school to say her goodbyes to her students. How she kept it together for her students, we do not know, but believe she could benefit from a stress relief package."
Hickey on teaching: "Thanks so much. It is exciting to hear I was nominated! This will be my 19th year teaching in Loveland City Schools. I taught kindergarten one year, first grade for 16 years and the last two years I have been teaching second grade. I love teaching young children. It is a great joy and big responsibility to watch them grow over the course of a school year. It never ceases to amaze me how much progress each child makes in a school year. I always try to create a very positive, fun environment so we can all have a good time learning. I am an avid reader, so I love to share this passion with my class and watch as they become independent readers themselves. I guess I love doing what I do because it is an amazing thing to bring joy to a child, and that is what I strive for in my class, to help each child feel secure to be his or herself and to reach his or her potential as a learner. I have a lot of fun with the kids. I hope this doesn’t sound too cheesy: It’s hard to put into words."
Jill Wilhelm, head band director at Fairfield High School
Nominated by Amanda Schuster: "Jill Wilhelm is a music teacher at Fairfield High School and the head of the music program. Through volunteer efforts and my children being students of hers, I’ve known Jill for several years. She has a tireless commitment to the kids in the music program and spends endless hours outside of the classroom. For most of the month of August, she’ll spend her days (and several nights) outside on the asphalt marching band practice field, helping 200 kids learn to be their best musically for the season’s marching band show – and all of that while she is seven months pregnant. She works with the other teachers and the parent booster organization to work on ways to improve the program as a whole, directs and attends multiple evening programs a month – and all with a smile on her face. My kudos to Jill Wilhelm, and please consider her for this honor."
Wilhelm on teaching: "I’ve always wanted to be a teacher for as long as I could remember. I have the greatest passion for music! I always say I have the best job in the world because I get to make music with incredibly talented students – it’s like I get to play every day. I spend a lot of time with the students, more so than many of other teachers, and I really get to see the kids grow and mature as musicians and individuals throughout their high school years in band."
Susan Craig, fourth grade teacher at Loveland Elementary School
Nominated by Amber Allen: "Mrs. Craig is an awesome, inspiring and caring fourth grade teacher at Loveland Elementary School. She is very dedicated and goes way beyond what is expected. She geniunely cares for her students as if they are her own children. She volunteered to be Amber’s running buddy for the Fall 2010 Girls on the Run 5K – cheering her on in the practices, and for the actual race day, she ran beside her from beginning to end. Mrs. Craig then proceeded to be a coach for the spring season as well. She always keeps the parents informed and engaged in what is going on in her classroom, and we will miss her teaching, cheering and dedication to her students. After all her running and coaching, she well deserves the Mitchell’s spa package!"
Craig on teaching: "My name is Susan Craig, and this will be my 15th year of teaching. I have taught in the Norwood School District, Northwest School District and for the past nine years I have been with Loveland City Schools. I teach Language Arts (reading, writing, handwriting and spelling). I have also taught Science. Each year I get to meet new students and families who are forever a part of my life. Just this year, one of my first students here at Loveland graduated from school. Seeing kids achieve long after they are gone is such a rewarding thing for me. I love trying new things with the kids and stretching them to their fullest potential. It is even better when they want to achieve things for themselves."