Recipients of the Embrace Empower and Inspire Award

Recipients of the Embrace Empower and Inspire Award

Congratulations to these Embrace, Empower & Inspire Award winners, Denise Estep (3rd grade teacher at Horizon Elementary) and Julie Keefer (1st grade teacher at Crossing Elementary).

“Mrs. Estep has developed a school garden where her 3rd grade students can learn about planting, growing, and harvesting fruits, vegetables, and flowers. The class then gets to eat and experiment with different foods using the items they’ve grown in the garden. It has fostered a love of gardening for the students and taught them the benefits of including healthy foods in your diet. The students have grown and discovered so many new things through this process! Such a wonderful learning tool for them! This experience takes a lot of effort and energy and Mrs. Estep puts a tremendous amount of both into it. Stepping outside the classroom to learn has captivated this group of 3rd graders and they look forward to participating in it every Friday! The health benefits and knowledge they have gained will stay with them for a lifetime.” 

“Mrs. Keefer is a truly phenomenal teacher. She inspires a love for learning for her students and creates a classroom environment that is welcoming and collaborative. We are so appreciative of her communication with her parents. Her weekly emails outlining topics help us to support learning at home. She has been especially helpful as we navigate the new phonics program! Mrs. Keefer is quick to respond to questions and concerns, even during evening hours. The student-led conferences that she structured were outstanding. Our daughter was so proud to share what she had been learning and we were blown away by the way our six-year-old was taking ownership of her education (with a lot of guidance and support from Mrs. Keefer no doubt). We have been thrilled with the growth we have seen this year; but, more importantly, Mrs. Keefer has made her classroom a place where students can be their best. Our daughter loves being a Keefer Cardinal!” 

These staff members go above and beyond the expectations of the Hilliard Way and truly make a difference in our district. If you know a staff member who goes above and beyond their way to make a difference, you can nominate them for next month’s award by clicking HERE!

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