We all have fond memories of those special teachers who made a difference in our lives. 

To honor and thank an outstanding educator in our communities, we asked our patients, their friends, and their families, to reflect on the educators who have made an impression on their lives and the lives of others.  Not only did we receive 57 entries, but we also received some wonderful photos of these amazing educators in action.

On May 12th, we honored the deserving winner, Mrs. Crystal VonBargen of Fairfield North Elementary, with a pizza party for her class and a $100 Visa gift card.  Mrs. VonBargen received no less than six nominations for her unique approach to 4th grade education.  When asked, her students said they love Mrs. VonBargen because:

Mrs. VonBargen, winner of our Teacher Appreciation contest“Mrs. VonBargen loves kids and cares for everyone.”

“She never lets us say easy or hard.  She teaches us so so much.  She is the best.”

“When I’m sad, she makes me happy and makes me smile.”

“She never lets me give up on myself.”

“She loves us like we are her kids.”

Mrs. VonBargen told us about how she came to teaching and shared some of the ways she has learned to make meaningful connections with students.  Crystal grew up in Brookville, Indiana, until 8th grade, when her family moved to Fairfield, Ohio.  Due to her love of history as a young girl, Crystal wanted to be an archeologist but soon realized she could explore that interest in the classroom.  She decided to become a teacher after an experience she had in 4th grade, when she was a struggling student due to her “quiet and shy” demeanor.  Crystal’s teacher, “who was amazing,” patiently worked with her on math — a difficult subject that she detested. 

“I know how it feels to be that child who wants to do well and has no idea how to do it,” Mrs. VonBargen said.

Her own experience influences her approach in the classroom, which she introduces on day one of each school year: students are not allowed to say they think something is difficult or easy.  “If one student is struggling with division and another thinks it is easy and says it is easy out loud, my struggling student will then feel defeated and feel like giving up.” 

Mrs. VonBargen promises her students from the start, “I will never give up on you, so you should never give up on you.  If you put your mind to it, you can do anything that you want to do. Just never give up on yourself.”

Our staff would like to personally thank every teacher in our communities for making a difference in the life of each and every student.  All of the nominated educators are doing important work shaping the young minds in our communities.  We look forward to hearing about more amazing teachers for next year’s Teacher Appreciation Contest.

We love Mrs. VonBargen collage

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