SABINA — East Clinton Middle School social studies teacher Nancy Reeves is the 2019 Teacher of the Year for State Board of Education District 10, which has 82 school districts in south-central Ohio.
She was recognized at Wednesday night’s school board meeting where State Board of Education District 10 representative Nick Owens spoke about the regional award for teaching excellence and this year’s recipient.
“Nancy Reeves has spent more than 27 years in public education, helping enrich the lives of thousands of students through her innovative, experiential learning approaches,” Owens said. “Nancy is a true servant leader in the East Clinton school district and is very deserving of this special recognition.”
Already recognized by the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) as a Master Teacher, Reeves is noted by colleagues for her strong classroom skills and rapport with students, parents and other teachers, stated an ODE news release.
She was asked to speak at the board meeting and started her remarks by referring to a “great group of students” when she started to get emotional. She then added, “And I’ve had that from day one at East Clinton.”
Later, she called them “the best kids in the world to teach for 27 years,” and said she wouldn’t change her career or anything.
“This is who I am,” Reeves said.
She noted her teaching career started at the old, now-demolished Sabina School, and that she has also been at New Vienna, Lees Creek, and now she plans “hopefully” to move into a new East Clinton Middle School building that is being proposed.
Reeves recalled her first year as a teacher.
It was, she said, “Read a section, do a worksheet, and maybe throw in an activity once in a while here, and boy has it changed.”
Nowadays, she said a teacher better take into consideration what is happening at home; and a teacher “better build those relationships because if you don’t, you’re not going to be able to work with that child and each child is different. If you don’t do something different with them, you’re going to lose that child for the year.”
Owens noted Reeves is a coach for the EC Middle School mock trial team, an activity that helps youth grow, speak on their feet, and read and retain, he said. He knows what he’s speaking about because his day job is as an assistant prosecutor and he also is a Western Brown High School mock trial co-coach.
East Clinton Local Schools Board of Education President Linda Compton, who is a retired East Clinton educator, said it was her experience that Reeves is open to new ideas.
East Clinton Superintendent Eric Magee said Reeves keeps the middle-school students engaged. He said he has visited her classroom and seen the social studies teacher outfitted as Ben Franklin and, on another occasion, learning rap music.
“By creating lessons to engage and inspire students to own their learning, Nancy has shown a growth mindset that has gotten encouraging feedback from her students and the community,” said Robbin Luck, East Clinton Middle School principal.
Reeves is a longstanding member of her school leadership team. Colleagues say she encourages others entering the teaching field by welcoming into her classroom both student teachers and students who may want to pursue teaching.
Her middle school colleagues have chosen her as East Clinton Teacher of the Year twice. She was named the 2018 American Legion Teacher of the Year for her American Legion Ohio district.
Other highlights from the board meeting include:
• Magee said he will have conversations with the middle school principal, the East Clinton agricultural education / FFA staffer Matt Griffith and with Laurel Oaks about the possibility of doing something at the junior high level beyond this year with FFA.
• There have been changes to bus routes this year to make them more efficient, reported Magee.
“Some of that worked as planned; there are pieces that didn’t work as planned,” he acknowledged. School officials are trying to make some adjustments, he said, and he thinks in the end there will be good routes for all involved.
• Sabina Elementary School art teacher Hollie Holden gave a presentation to the board about DonorsChoose.org , a classroom funding website for teachers. She and her students have benefited from the teacher-founded nonprofit, which has been supporting teachers and students since 2000.
The East Clinton district, through requests from Holden on DonorsChoose.org , has previously obtained hundreds of dollars worth of clay as well as $500 of Sharpie marking instruments.
• Sabina Elementary School Principal Jennie Pierson reported her building will focus on PBIS — Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports. PBIS identifies and supports desired behaviors in the school setting.
It seeks to reduce poor behavior schoolwide through the encouragement of positive behaviors.
Pierson also reported on preliminary data regarding standardized testing of Sabina Elementary students. There are eight areas tested, each with a goal of 80 percent of students passing the area.
In 2016, Sabina Elementary met one area at the 80 percent mark; in 2017 the school met three; and in 2018 the school’s students and staff attained five areas at the 80 percent mark.
“I feel like we’re going in the right direction. We’re getting to where we need to be,” she said.
Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768.