Ferndale Schools Teacher Appreciation Stories Pour In

Ferndale Schools Teacher Appreciation Stories Pour Inseed030_Laurinda Ross

(Nan Kerr-Mueller and Crystal Proxmire, May 11, 2014)

Last week was Teacher Appreciation Week and parents throughout Ferndale Schools shared stories of teachers and staff that have made an impact on their children’s lives. The Facebook Page “Teacher Appreciation Week Stories” got over 150 likes as the warm and fuzzy feelings spread throughout the community. Below are many short stories that show how valued teachers in the Ferndale School District are…

At first I was terrified to send my daughter to kindergarten. She had never been away from me before! Until the day that I met her teacher Mrs. Urbanowicz. It was that moment that I knew we had made the right decision. She is so kind and patient and literally works magic with her students. She loves them like they are her own. I could not be happier with anything else! My child has grown in so many ways that I didn’t even know possible. Thank you Heather! You are an incredible teacher and you are so much appreciated.

Mr Kelly and Mrs Maes are awesome, they make the classes interesting and they do a great job keeping their seed029_keyser_familyMoodle up to date which is helpful for me to stay organized. I can really relate to Mrs. LoPiccolo, she is one of my favorite teachers. -10th grade student

Shout out to Coach Collins (also our Police Chief). You give these wrestlers so much more than just wrestling. Thank you for pouring your heart into this program.

Cheers to Ms Ward at FMS who keeps the kids engaged with songs and silliness but also teaches them how to navigate the cyber world with manners and morals.

Ms. Tavalire gets our family shout out. Patience beyond any human and a way to figure out how each kid ticks.

Hallie Griffin, I think you were placed on this earth to work speech magic on children. I am so glad we have you at Roosevelt, thank you.

Eric Lloyd, a leader and a coach. Thank you for being so positive and always encouraging the team. You treat them as athletes and scholars.seed028_michelle foster

Deb Hillebrand music teacher runs a kindergarten letter sound club daily, thank you for going above and beyond to make sure our little ones are getting what they need.

My first teacher appreciation story is about Elaine Zold. I met Elaine outside of the classroom. She was teaching at Coolidge at the time. She knew, from my stories, about the struggles my daughter was beginning to have socially at school. Elaine made herself available to my daughter, even though she was not one of her teachers. She opened up her classroom and her heart to my daughter and for this, I will forever be thankful!!!

Staff Appreciation Week Shout Out to Sheryl Denmark, JFK secretary. You hold down the fort, know ever kid by name and watch over our little ones like they are your own. Thank you for all that you do.

A shout out to all the staff at UHS, you all give 100% all the time. Anytime someone needs something, you try to find a way to make it happen. I am so glad our family found you.

Carly and Marie, I am so blessed to have you both in my child’s school. I know if she is sick or anything that seed027_essential_massageshe has the both of you. Your patience and way with the children is wonderful.

Brian Kelly, Maurice Telesford, Allison Maes, Mr. Lemenu, Mr Hand, Mr Henderson are all passionate about teaching. They are responsive and supportive and I do not know what we would do without you! Thank YOU!

Shout out to Gretchen Abrams for always fighting for for outdoor education. The salmon raising and releasing project was incredible. I loved this project sooooo much. Great work Gretchen Abrams.

Teacher Appreciation Week Shout Out to Margy Watson and Roberta Lusk at JFK who make 5th grade so much fun. When your kid is sad to miss school you know someone is doing something very, very right!

When I asked my daughter what teacher makes a difference she said Mrs. Oliver. “She makes you work hard but makes it fun. “

Sending a shout out to the preschool teachers at Grant Early Childhood Center. Thank you to Penny Carrier, Kathy Richardson-Troutt ,Camille Gunter, Robin Reiterman-Dare, Mrs. Connie, and to the paras, Karen Matlick, Ossie Davis, Ms. Linda, Ana Lilia Soto Ortega, Sarah Jean Stevens, Family Liaison, Amy Brittenham Rooney…you all were there from the beginning and I could not be more grateful! Special shout out to the, now retired, Rita Ray….Thank you all!

Shout out to ALL of the staff in Ferndale district for keeping the kids safe while also teaching them. I am in awe of how teachers seed026_annemarieyerksmanage all they do.

A BIG thank you to Mrs Somers who helped my daughter make huge strides the year she was in her class. It gave her a ton of confidence.

A great big thanks to Mr. Cunningham at Coolidge for encouraging us to have our son attend fifth grade camp! His positive helpful approach boosted our confidence to give it a try and camp was wonderful success for our son… Something we probably would not have done without Mr. Cunningham and we appreciate it and all of the great memories made!

Mrs. Krencicki you made a huge difference in our lives. Thank you.

Mrs. Monroe, easily the most consistent, organized and on top of it teachers. Her classroom is quiet (respectful quiet, not overly quiet), productive and kind. You are a gem and I am so thankful my child had you (several years ago). You are still talked about often at the dinner table. Thank You.

To Mrs. Linda Davis at Grant, you have loved my babies like they were your own. All of the kids who entered Mrs. Dare, and Ms. Jan’s classrooms, had you there with open arms to greet them. You also have worked so hard to support the teacher’s that you work with! Our family loves and appreciates you, and we miss you so much!!!

Staff Appreciation Week Shout Out to Liz Lisiscki, FMS and JFK secretary. No doubt she can easily greet every child by name in seed025_sara_spurgeonboth her schools. The woman has also put more loving Band-aids on skinned knees than Beaumont.

Teacher Appreciation Week story. Cheers go out to Jodi Prince for the two amazing years Nick had with you. Plus all the extra stuff you do like Field Day committee. My parents and I were just talking about Medieval Fun Day and what a fabulous event that was from pool noodle jousting and eating without utensils to flute music and folks in chain mail and authentic garb! So creative, so fun and so wonderful!

A huge thank you to Mrs. Waterstredt at Coolidge for making our son’s transition to a new school in the fourth grade very successful! She worked with him in a way that he could be successful and a very positive addition to the classroom. She recognized his strengths and helped to build his confidence and as a result he loved the fourth grade! Thank you Mrs. Waterstredt for caring and going the extra mile for Mitch!

Teacher Appreciation Week Shout Out to Kim Schroeder, FMS and FHS choir teacher. Thank you for starting my daughter’s day with song. What a beautiful gift you give your students.

Shout out to Mrs. Leah Closson, you made the start of this year bearable for my daughter. Your warmth and kindness shine through and are recognized by everyone who comes in contact with you.

To all of the K teachers who make the marriage of Q and U so MUCH FUN, Heather Urbanowicz, Dave Wills, Jan Cunningham, Mrs Beirmann, Mrs. Moore and everyone else involved. Stuff like this makes school so seed024_jeannie_davis_from_lorimuch fun!!! and there is Magic all the time at Roosevelt! Butterflies, songs, making communities, becoming a family…

I love Mrs. Murphy! She was one of my favorite teachers at Ferndale. I graduated a few years ago but I have fond thoughts of her class!

At the beginning of the school year, my son was having a hard time adjusting to kindergarten. Being away from family all day was a big transition, and he would often get overwhelmed. Diana Keefe and Tammy Jarrard Crossley each took my child under their wings and helped him through those rough first weeks. Diana took him for walks through the hallway when he was feeling overwhelmed in the classroom, and Tammy sat with him at lunch and recess whenever he was feeling sad. At another school, he could have easily gotten lost in the crowd, but at Roosevelt he was embraced by the school family and allowed to adjust at his own pace and in his own way. He is finishing kindergarten a much more confident and independent child, and I will never forget the acts of kindness that helped him get to this point. Thank you, Diana and Tammy!

Shout out to all Kindergarten teachers! We have had a couple throughout our years and the kindness and grace I have found in all the K classrooms is wonderful. Not only do you shepherd our sweet babies into seed023_petcare_au_pairstudents but you also guide those of us who are having a hard time as well. It is a family transition, Mrs Urbanowicz, Ms. Cunningham and Mrs Rocheleau, thank you. Your kindness and love is felt.

Sarah Struzik, thank you for all that you do to include your students with the rest of the student body. This is making a huge impact in our family and I am sure many others. Thank you Thank you Thank you!

CASA! Every teacher my daughter and son have had at CASA has been awesome! Ms. Karen Kaczmarek, Ms. Melissa Smith, Mr. Jared Kullman… what a gem of a program and school. I am so thankful our students have the opportunity to go there from FHS and get these special learning opportunities. AP classes – Japanese – Arts!

Teacher Appreciation Week Shout Out to Lauren Sibula at the Ferndale Middle School. Senorita Sibula not only teaches Spanish, but cultural appreciation. She encourages her students to explore this big world.

My son is having a wonderful kindergarten experience, thanks to the magical Heather Pirronello Urbanowicz. When I look at the growth that he has experienced since the start of the school year, I am blown away. Heather creates a sense of wonder in her class everyday. It seems there is always something seed021_helaine-zackspecial going on. She models respect and kindness in everything she does, and I am sure the children in her class will benefit from this strong foundation for the rest of their lives.

Mrs. Schroeder, thank you for seeing something in my child and encouraging him to explore it more!

Ms. Judy Smith is an amazing teacher. Kind and patient she fostered my child through some difficult years. Her humor and true love of her students is very real.

Mr. Phou is not just a fun, engaging, and talented FMS math teacher! He also truly cares about the emotional and social well-being of his students. The middle school years can be difficult to navigate for some kids, and he is there to help them, not just make it through, but to learn and grow and mature, and become respectable young men and women. I will always be grateful to him! Thank you Mr. Phou!

I’d like to take a moment to say the special education staff in Ferndale is really trying to make good things happen. With less funding than ever they continue to try to keep up with the research and apply it. More could always be done, but the thing is that they know it and are working on it.

Marjorie Bresson and Sue Adamson what would we have done without you?

Appreciation Week Shout Out to Elaine Zold at JFK for turning my kid who thought reading was a chore into seed017_darlene_bignottia true bookworm. All it took was a challenge. We can never thank enough. And the fact that you continue to recommend books to her just warms my heart.

I would like to take this brief opportunity to thank a fabulous teacher…Molly Bascom-Keller. You are an angel to me. You have helped me since Brendan was a nursing infant…coaching me through (remember your phone calls?). Teaching me that a toddling child with a cup of something during a classroom party was NBD while you made some craft with the class. This school year you have lessened the stress of all my obligations. I am both excited and sad for the Fall when you begin your student teaching. Of course you’ve had many careers and degrees before the next, but this is the job you were born to do.

I was an adult education graduate years ago and now my children are in the Ferndale School system. I am so glad to see that it is still going. Thank you for giving me a chance to be a High School Graduate (and eventually College too!)

Shout out to the Ferndale Youth Assistance for all they do to support our kids and teachers. What a kind and loving office!

Through his education through FPS and CASA, my son has been able to test out of classes such as Statistics at the Air Force Academy! He said he learned things through his high school education that are far beyond what they teach at one of the top universities! It takes VERY dedicated, caring and professional teachers to seed020_heather_coleman_vossinstill that type of education in a student.

Thank you Mr. Royal at UHS for making sure all the kids get into college and checking to make sure they have the support they need to succeed.

What I admire most about Charlotte Oliver is all of the little extras that she does. Like showing up to support at musicals and concerts. Staying after school to chat with a parent who has concerns. Meeting with kids to talk college stuff. Listening to teenage angst about other classes and young love. Supporting ideas like a school store. She makes it all seem effortless. Thank you, Charlotte!

Amy Sherman is a fantastic new addition to the staff at Coolidge! I am so thankful my child has her there.

I would like to thank Mr. Thomas. When Miles was in kindergarten, he lost his tooth while eating… swallowed it. Mr. Thomas immediately emailed me to let me know and that he told Miles the Tooth Fairy was still going to visit. – Way to keep the magic alive.

Shout out to Shaun Butler who is not only awesome but will let us duct tape him to a wall to make some money! And Roger Smith -eggs, pies? sure… It makes you so approachable for the students and they love it.

Mrs. Dina Rocheleau, if you were the principal at a school on the moon – I would a find a way to enroll my kid at it. You are amazing. You fill the school with a quiet kindness. The children are in a safe place to learn seed016_goedert_familyand grow and be children. I cannot thank you enough for the part you have played in making my children’s start in education so wonderful.

We are so lucky to have Mr. Peri at Roosevelt. He is fun and he makes the kids work. What a treasure he is!

Shout out to Mrs Schroeder, Your direction and firmness are helping to mold my young theatre kid into a hard and dedicated worker. Thank you, we are so lucky we have such an excellent vocal music department.

Thank you to Ms. Bradley for making our art department soar and also finding the time beyond your regular duties to have an art club for 2nd grade students. We are so glad you are part of the team!!!

Ms. Gearing and Ms. Ulman at Roosevelt. I have really noticed and appreciated the kind way you treat students. I’ve seen you be calm and reassuring to sick kids, tardy kids and children who have potty accidents. I’ve seen you be equally warm with students who come have come on errands or because they have misbehaved, Even when you have a large amount of of work you are trying to get through – you do not treat the kids like they are a bother or seem harried by the interruptions. I think you set a really great tone for the school. Thank you.

Shout out to Kathy Troutt and Amy Rooney at Grant! You are always there when someone needs you, thank you.

Yay, Brian Kelly, Ben Moy, Elon Jamison, Ms. Maes, Mr. Hand, and Mr. Telesford who are truly passionate about teaching. Always going the extra mile.seed019_Cherie_Rolfe

Teacher Appreciation Week Shout Out to Kristine Hill at the Ferndale Middle School who is teaching the students the art of taking good notes. These students will look back on this class in college with great appreciation.

Teacher Appreciation Week Shout Out to Greg Williamson, JFK 6th grade teacher. Your approach to teaching with all of your games, projects and challenges is unmatched. You give kids a year of learning they will never forget. Thank you.

Ferndale Adult Ed teachers thank you for showing us over and over that second chances work! You change lives.

Shout Out to former JFK teacher Amy Holmes. Thank you for caring so much about seeing my boy get to grade level in reading. I will never forget the day he reached his goal. You called me to school and the two of us cried we were so excited by his success

I work with a great bunch of teachers at Jefferson Adult Ed. These teachers (Joe Lovins, Tricia Fatute Kinnunen, Ben Wilbert, Natalie Glime, Douglas Danek, Jean Stieber, Jim Gadd, Rob Corsini and Rudy Montano) give their all every day to the students. It is an honor to work with them!

Mr. Dave, aka Spiderman… (Dave Wills) you are so looked up to that the children think you are, in fact, a super hero. I love seeing seed015_kathryn_balcerthe pride you have in your building, I am thankful you have been in my sons’ lives.

Charlotte Oliver is a treasure in the Ferndale School District. She is involved and she really cares.
Charlotte sits on district committees and heads staff positions at FHS. While we appreciate her involvement, what really sets her apart is what she does for our kids every day. Charlotte teaches her classes with enthusiasm and professionalism, co-leads The United Student Assembly (which recently raised about $2500 during Charity Week for Common Ground), heads up The DECA Club and runs The Reality Store for the Junior Class. Charlotte is a positive influence for the FHS students, encouraging school spirit, getting involved and following through on commitments.

Ms. Stacy Schock, your vibrant and creative way of teaching and engaging the kids at Coolidge is wonderful! My daughter is already looking forward to FHS where she can play volleyball with you as a coach!

Ms. Darling and Ms. Wize are reading workshop wizards! I appreciate how hard they work to make our kids excellent readers!

Ms. Jan….Grant lost the best, and Roosevelt lucked out!!!! I can’t count how many Facebook posts I have read about how much you love your babies! The joy that is exuded when you talk about them, lifts everyone up. How fortunate these kids are to have you begin their school careers! My kids still talk about you, and your Mom. (who is the best, in her own right!) Thank you, and thanks for sharing your Mom with seed014_melinda_hicks_familyus too! Love you much!!!

Mrs. Dare, what can I say….your love, care, and concern for each and every child that enters your classroom is so very apparent. You also became a friend that would lend your ear, whenever needed! We love you so much! Thanks for being you!

Staff Appreciation to Renee Burgess and all of the incredibly inspiring Academic Case Managers at the Digital Learning Center. You are changing lives every day. The impact you are having on your students both academically and how they will approach life in the future is immeasurable. Thank you.

Brian Kelly, thank you for keeping watch over our NHS kids and making sure they have opportunities to volunteer and that they fulfill them!

Teacher Appreciation Week Shout Out to Michele Harris, JFK 4th grade teacher. Every year you transform a group of crazy little kids into true independent learners. So much growth and development in this year and you tackle it with grace. Oh, and just a bit of dancing in class too!

Mrs. Bruner at Roosevelt has made our year wonderful. She is the perfect blend of firm and kind. I am so glad my child is in her class.

Elaine Zold has been doing amazing and inspiring work at JFK elementary for years. She taught both of our sidebar01reader_supportkids and had one of them for two different grades (3rd and 6th grade). She has the ability to teach required content, challenge kids, have fun, and her tireless attempts to teach kids about social responsibility is something that will hopefully stay with the tons of students that have been fortunate to enjoy her wisdom and strength through the years.

To Mrs. Hill at FMS, you have lit a fire for science for my child, thank you.

Dave Wills, Thank you for all the hard work you do within the school every day. Not only are you in charge of the school building itself, but you are also in charge of the unpleasant tasks that go with the territory of an elementary school. Completing these tasks with a smile and being a positive male role model for the children are skills only a certain type of person can provide. Thank you for undertaking the job of providing a safe, clean, and pleasant area for our children to learn and grow.

Mr Jeffrey makes his class fun and he makes it so you want to do the work. He is the only teacher that I can really relate to. – 7th grader

I would like to give a personal thank you shout out to the following teachers Mrs. Brearley first grader roosevelt as well as the secretaries in the office at Roosevelt they’re awesome. Mrs. Ruben and Mrs. Kramer six grade teachers at Coolidge intermediate. And all the staff Mr. Phou Mr. Joanett and the rest of earnest seed013_larry_and_monica_millsteachers from the middle school Miss Miller from Coolidge as well as the secretary staff according to me the awesome the secretary staff at the middle school is there best you’ll find. also Mr. Francis is awesome. I really appreciate all the work done and the support that you give for Treyvon Alexander Madison Alexander and Vernon Alexander keep up the awesome job. I appreciate you all I appreciate you I love you and I give you thanks love the Alexander family.

Mr Jesse Ynclan at UHS, an excellent teacher and bowling coach! Thank you for everything!

It seems like at every event I go to I see Charlotte Oliver and Kristine Hill. They are both incredible!!!

Teacher Appreciation Week Shout Out to D’Anne McNeil, Lynne Dallmann and Michael Thomas, JFK’s Open Classroom kindergarten teaching team. They enter your class as babies and leave doing oral presentations, special projects and reading. Seriously? You launch their independent, project-based learning and it just continues to grow.

Lisa Williams, you are a wonderful leader and I am so glad my children have you to look up to, Thank You!!!

I would like to thank Toni Trolinger and Shannon Nagaj. When my son was in second grade he developed a pretty significant anxiety about writing ~ he just didn’t think he could do it. And being the stubborn guy he is, if there’s something he doesn’t want to do, he simply won’t do it. Recognizing that something was off, seed012_francine_hachemToni contacted us after school and we talked quite a bit about his anxiety and what we could do to build up his confidence. Toni and Shannon really worked with him and Toni kept us well informed throughout the following days via email and follow-up calls. Through incredible team-teaching, and displaying such compassion and care, Toni and Shannon helped him come through his rough patch amazingly quickly. He is once again excited to go to school ~ and for that I will be forever grateful.

Coach Goliday runs a get fit club 3 times a week that the kids love. Thank you for going above and beyond for them!

I’d like to say gracias to Ms. Maria Rajewski, my daughter’s Spanish teacher this year at FMS (she also teaches at Ferndale’s University High School). Ms. Rajewski embraced Violet’s creativity and made Spanish so fun through storytelling and innovative lessons. She learned so much and can’t wait for another trimester!

Teacher Appreciation to Katie and Scott Jeffrey. You graduated from our great district and now dedicate your professional lives to it. Quite the commitment. Thank you! (Parents please post below other staff members who now work for the district. There are many!)

Staff Appreciation Week Shout Out to JFK Principal Derek Adams for helping parents make sense of this ever-changing world of core curriculum, standardized tests and other often confusing info. You have a gift of breaking it all down for us in understandable terms. But best of all, we know you just want our little ones to have fun learning. We love our Mr. Adams’ Power Points!!!! Thank you.seed010_eric_dickerson

Shout out to Lynne Dallmann – She war our first teach at JFK three years ago in young fives. I’m not sure what the ratio was exactly – maybe 15 Boys and 5 Girls. All I know is she had her hands full and I am grateful! Especially because whenever I volunteered at centers, it always felt like an argument broke out at my table and she was always there to save me.

Teacher Appreciation Week Shout Out to Ferndale Orchestra teacher Ben Moy. Mr. Moy has a gift of seriously challenging his students while still having loads of fun. May the force be with you, Mr. Moy!

Thank you to the art teachers in Ferndale for inspiring my kids to make artwork so beautiful it graces our walls

Thank you to Mr. Coleman, Mr. Jamison and Mrs. Brown for their efforts and always including our son in both band and choir. He has enjoyed it immensely and it has become a huge sense of pride for him. His involvement in band and choir has instilled a sense of confidence and community connectedness that has not been possible otherwise. Thank you for helping Mitch shine and develop a love of band and choir!

Scott Collins has been an excellent coach and mentor our kids on the FHS track team. He has led us through tough times and to great victories. All the time he gives our team is after he teaches a full day at University High. A great big thank you to all our fabulous teacher coaches. Your dedication to children is awesome.

A Teacher Appreciation Week Shout Out to Ben Moy. He is an amazing orchestra teacher and supporter of all students. Frequently seed08_jodi_bergergoing above and beyond what is required to help out Ferndale elementary, middle, and high school. Thanks Ben for all you do.

Teacher Appreciation Week Shout Out to Jodi Prince, JFK 3rd grade teacher. Thank you for never letting go of your kids. Your care and concern for them as they progress through the grades is truly special. The fact students in middle and high school sneak back in the school to say hello to you speaks volumes.

Mrs. Jeffrey’s at UHS, thank you for setting the bar high!

We’ve had awesome, dedicated classroom teachers. I’d like to thank Jan Whinham for her commitment to the dance program. She gets so much out of young dancers with high expectations, humor and respect – our family has benefitted enormously from the Saturday dance class and one member is really looking forward to the dance portion of triple threat.

Both of our children were blessed to have Mrs. Heather Urbanowicz as their kindergarten teacher. The foundation she provides to students both academically and socially/emotionally is beyond compare. When our son who has a disability transitioned into her classroom in kindergarten she helped him immensely to become a very important part of the Roosevelt school family. Her patient, loving and inclusive approach set the path for a wonderful school experience. She included him in everything and lead by example so that his classmates naturally began to do the same. Mitchell is now in the fifth grade and the support of his seed07_cindy_peltonenclassmates and school family has grown stronger each year. Mrs. Urbanowicz sets in motion an enthusiastic love of learning and of each other in the children lucky enough to be in her class. A million thank yous!!!

When presented with the idea that she could do something for talent show with all the kids – Mrs. Sherman RAN with it. She made sure to check in with us and came to several rehearsals to work with the kids. She was wonderful and ended up having one of the most tear jerking performances with the cup song. Thank you, Ms. Sherman – we look forward to seeing what you have in mind for next year!!!!!

I have had teachers in Ferndale give up their lunch time or prep hour to tutor my child. I have always had an easy time of talking with the teachers and they are great about giving me updates on his work. I have never regretted choosing Ferndale.

Geneva Walker Smith: She’s an angel and the children adore her. She was meant to teach preschool aged children. My daughter bloomed in her class.

So thankful for Mrs Harvey at Coolidge. She is dedicated and “in it to win it”. Thank for never giving up on any of the kids!!!!

Mrs. Murphy, Biology Teacher at FHS, found out that one of her students was interested in digital animation. She had a friend at CCS and called the friend and hooked up the student with a job shadow for the summer in the field she is wanting to go into. What a valuable resume builder! Awesome, Mrs. Murphy, and not even in her field!

Okay, I’m jumping on the “awesome educator story” band wagon. I’m going back a few years. I have said this many times, so she already knows it…but it’s worth repeating. This one’s for you, Kara Lynn! Kara is such a kind, caring person, positive and always cheerful. Mason was lucky enough to have her for 1st and 2nd grade, and half the day in 3rd grade. I have spent many hours seed06_joann_willcockvolunteering during that time, and was always impressed with how she handled every type of situation with the kids, I never once heard her raise her voice, even during the difficult moments. Anyway, Mason started first grade, a very quiet and shy boy, an introvert I would say. There were certain factors that caused him to shut down and tune out, Kara was always able to recognize when this was happening, and always did what she could, either to comfort him, allow him his needed “recharge” time, or change the situation that was causing his stress. He began to really blossom…both academically and socially. She helped instill confidence in him, and as I’ve said before, she helped him “find his voice”. Yes, Mason is still my quiet child, but I know in my heart that she made such a positive change in him…I saw that change too. I also believe her love of learning helped inspire Mason, and thus began his love for books. To this day, despite the slight obsession with Minecraft, he still loves to read. I honestly have a hard time keeping up with new books for him. Kara, and her wonderful style of teaching was exactly what Mason needed. So Kara, thank you for your continued kindness, support, and for always keeping an eye on him…it really means a lot to me. You’re a good lady…and Mason thought you were the bomb. Okay,okay… maybe not his exact words, but you know what I mean!! He’d be upset if I got all mushy with that part.

Mr. Francis does more for the students than people even realize. He makes sure kids have coats when they need them and goes to their homes when he worries that things are not quite right. We are so lucky we have him.

A shout out to the 3rd grade team at Roosevelt: Mr. Peri, Ms. Darling, Ms. Wize and Ms. Smith. They work together to make sure all the kids are on track and ensure to take the time to check that the kids are successful. Team teaching can learn a thing or two from them!

I am Thankful to the coaching staff of Eric Royal, Ryan Dunlap and John Bassier. They are teachers and coaches, they are constantly making sure they are leading their students and athletes onto the right path! Thank you.seed05_jen_kat_latosch

I have never had my own child in the Ferndale school system, but I did have the opportunity to work at JFK for a brief 5 years. It is always scary coming in as the newbie into a staff. JFK staff welcomed me with open arms. Their love for children, school families, education, and Ferndale is inspiring! I am so blessed to have begun my teaching career with them. They taught me to be a better educator, student, and mama. Xoxo to my teacher peeps! I hope you’re being spoiled rotten this week…you deserve nothing less!

We would like to recognize an awesome educator Ms. Kristy Kuehn. As our son’s preschool teacher she was an incredibly strong support to Mitchell and all of us. Families with a very young child with a disability could not have a more supportive, skilled and caring teacher in their corner. With Kristy’s enthusiastic approach and teaching expertise she helped us to recognize Mitchell’s strengths and he made incredible gains throughout preschool and beyond. He would have never come as far as he has without her and we credit much of his school success to her talent and heartfelt teaching. Ferndale families are lucky to have Ms. Kristy working with their preschooler! We can never thank her enough!

Hi – I’d like to thank Ms. Robin Dare and Ms. Linda at Grant for everything they’ve done at Grant Preschool. They do so much with so little, under sometimes difficult circumstances and sometimes very little support. They continue to do what they do because they love kids and love teaching them. They’ve gone above and seed04_gallowaybeyond for years and are responsible for turning at least 2 little girls into lovers of learning and especially reading. FPS are incredibly fortunate to have such dedicated and caring teachers for early education.

Mr Arnell, the custodian at the High School goes out of his way to look out for the kids and knows who has someone to count on and who doesn’t. With high fives, hugs and encouragement he makes a difference.

Thank you to Mrs. Lepp for being a caring and motivating fifth grade teacher at Coolidge! You took the time to connect with our son and include him in a way that was fun and enjoyable for him. We appreciate you figuring out what topics motivate him in the writing process and bringing out the best in him. thank you too for recognizing his efforts in your class and making it a great year!

I am very glad that there are still opportunities for students to play a lot of sports in Ferndale. I know in a lot of districts either programs are cut or parents have to pay a lot for their kids to participate in a sport. I understand many of these sports could not run without teachers either volunteering their time or coaching for VERY little money. Thank you to every teacher/staff member who does this. You are creating a rich and wonderful set of memories for kids to build their lives on.

The entire Band Department: You are patient, you have really high standards, you push my child to be the better version of herself. I am so thankful for the opportunities to go to concerts and shows and I can only imagine putting them on is a huge production, so thank you!

Teacher Appreciation Week Shout Out to Ferndale Middle School teacher Donna Walimaa who is not afraid to challenge students artistically and helping them think with their right brains for a change.seed03_ann_warner

Here is a shout out to every single gym teacher! A class that is so important to all the children. Data shows that activity is important to learning, without you giving them a chance to let off some steam and teaching them constructive ways to do it our kids would not be getting all they needed in school. Huzzah!

Staff Appreciation to Kiada Watts and the staff at Grant Early Childhood Center. So many of our students got their start in your precious school. Thank you for loving our little ones and showing them that school can be oh so much fun!

Jovaughn Wilson, Thank you for being a role model and a coach.

Jerome Lemenu, thank you for going above and beyond to find ways for your students to show off their skills and giving kids who may be off the grid a chance to shine.

Teacher Appreciation Week nod to Barb Stafford at JFK who still believes children should know how to write in cursive. This is a fast and ever-changing world, but you’re giving those kids a true gift.

Shout out to Julia LoPiccolo for not killing my son when he was in her class. Seriously, he must have tried to push every button of every teacher he has that year. Thank you for being patient and trying to work out a plan to make him more successful. It is teachers like you who kept him on the right path and now he is graduated and has a good job. Thank you!

Janet Whinham is a treasure. She is patient and consistent with all of the ages that she teaches. My Daughter is younger and I love how she uses her older students to help in the classroom. You can tell how the students treat her that they respect her. She has created a wonderful program

Teacher Appreciation to Mr. Michael Thomas @ JFK who prepares children for independence and academic excellence in a firm seed02_sharon chessyet supportive fashion.

A Teacher Appreciation Week Shout Out to Ben Moy. He is an amazing orchestra teacher and supporter of all students. Frequently going above and beyond what is required to help out Ferndale elementary, middle, and high school. Thanks Ben for all you do.

I would like to thank Toni Trolinger and Shannon Nagaj. When my son was in second grade he developed a pretty significant anxiety about writing ~ he just didn’t think he could do it. And being the stubborn guy he is, if there’s something he doesn’t want to do, he simply won’t do it. Recognizing that something was off, Toni contacted us after school and we talked quite a bit about his anxiety and what we could do to build up his confidence. Toni and Shannon really worked with him and Toni kept us well informed throughout the following days via email and follow-up calls. Through incredible team-teaching, and displaying such compassion and care, Toni and Shannon helped him come through his rough patch amazingly quickly. He is once again excited to go to school ~ and for that I will be forever grateful.

I also want to send a shout out to Lindsay Gonska @ JFK who treats our first graders as if they were her own. Lindsay’s nurturing for this group of young learners has always impressed me and I will always be grateful for that

Another shout out to Kristine Hill at FMS! You are a safe place for every kid to come, you come to a lot of the events and the kids see you there, you make science and learning how to be good learners seem fun and easy… I am so glad my son had you and cannot wait until his sibling is in your class next year!!!

I would like to give a great big shout out and heartfelt thanks to the special needs paraprofessionals who work with students with disabilities each day and Ferndale Public Schools. Specifically Mrs. Marge Fox and Ms. Naomi Campbell who see students with seed01_bridget and kevin deegan krausedisabilities with their hearts and not with their eyes and achieve great results. Their dedication to the students they work with is unparalleled. it is impossible as a parent to fully express my gratitude to these two people for helping keep my son and many students with disabilities a big important part of their classroom and school family! Thank you for focusing on the positive and minimizing the negative day and day out and helping others to do so as well. You are deeply appreciated!!!!

Staff appreciation to everyone at University High School. You set high goals for our kids and they respond. How cool it must be to watch these students grow up and then hear about their many successes

Shout out to Ms Edwards and Ms Prince, my son learned so much with you and his confidence grew a ton under your care!

If I could take a moment to appreciate Jean Mauser Bokram @ Coolidge. She is just plain awesome! She knows all the kids’ names and who they belong to, and treats everyone with respect and kindness. I especially love her quick wit and humor. Supportive, funny, helpful — it makes me happy when I walk in the door and see her calm smile. Coolidge is so lucky to have her as the backbone of our school. Thank you for all you do Jean!

Tom Maes, thank you for putting so much thought and energy into what you do, it is appreciated. FPS is seed09_robert_wittenberglucky to have you.

Teacher Appreciation Week Shout Out to Ferndale Middle School math teacher Allison Hancock who made a five minute “good job” phone call to my daughter last fall that none of us in this house will ever forget.

Drama teacher, director, mentor, and favorite person, Melissa Smith.

Teacher Appreciation Week Shout Out to Ferndale Middle School teacher Mary Ferrini who shares her love of classic literature with our kids.

Ann Kelly goes out of her way to connect with students. She is spot-on with her suggestions and she doesn’t give up on students and communicates well with parents and students. She is also the faculty lead for the Gay Straight Alliance and attends many school activities. I know I can count on her when I speak to her about something. Thank you, Ann!

My daughter is having a stellar 6th grade year under the team teachers Mrs. Kramer and Mrs. Rubin @ Coolidge. Through skilled authority and kind dedication, they have changed my space cadet into a voracious learner with mad organizational skills. She is on task, reading books like crazy, and her math skills, which had previous been at the point that we were going to send her to tutoring, have shot through the roof. She even had her first High Honors report card this year. I couldn’t be more blown away by her improvement. With their leadership and skill, they have expertly prepared our kids for the transition to middle school. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

My educator appreciation story to start the week is about Mr. Francis who takes the time to know, enjoy and encourage all students at the middle school. He has probably given his personal cell phone number to at least half the school’s parents. When my kids have sidebar011beesponsorhad rough times, he has always been the first to notice and get them through the day. He gets there early, stays late and shows up at countless events. Thank you Mr. Francis!

My teacher appreciation story is for Kiada N. Watts who made my daughter feel like the most important girl in the entire school. If that wasn’t enough she helped me write a lesson plan to home school through the summer to fill in some gaps. She met us every week throughout the summer at the library to review her work and adjust the lesson plan. Our district is so lucky to have her

I’d like to thank Mrs. Waterstredt, whose kind, energetic approach to teaching made the transition to 4th Grade at Coolidge a very easy one. She let my daughter’s love of science bloom in her class, and the projects they worked on were super fun to help with as a parent. Thank you for your positive energy, and all that you do for our kids!

This is a shout out to Judy Hafner Smith who came during summer vacation to see a little league game that around 4 of her former kids were playing. The kids’ faces just lit up when they saw her in the stands. Going out of her way to make sure the kids know they are important and worth it. Love her.

For more positive stories visit: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Teacher-Appreciation-Week-stories/344529609005415

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