Olentangy Valley News

District's top teachers surprised with honors


Olentangy Local School District staff and administrators kicked off the 2013-14 school year last week by recognizing the 2012-13 Teachers of the Year.

At the annual convocation assembly Aug. 13, Lauren Hausman and Lindsey Carle were recognized as teachers of the year. It was the first tie in the history of the award. Judy Muntean, who served as Hyatts Middle School's secretary until her death in November, was honored as the classified staff member of the year.

Although every teacher who is awarded in the spring as Teacher of the Year in their building is eligible to be named the district award recipient, the winner is kept top secret until the assembly, where a video announced which teachers the administration chose to honor.

As an Olentangy alumna, Hausman said being chosen in front of some of the very teachers that inspired her to pursue a career in education was special.

"My teachers were really the ones that pushed me and I was so thankful for the experiences they provided, because without them it would have been a long haul in school," said Hausman, who has taught fifth grade at Cheshire Elementary School since it opened four years ago. "I really want to be able to give kids that same great experience and inspire them to do whatever they want to."

Comments from Ben Porter, an intervention specialist who nominated Hausman for the award, prove that she has an equally positive influence on her students as her teachers had on her.

"You care about each and every student, and students really love coming to your class," Porter said in the convocation video. "They have a passion for learning when they are in the classroom with you."

Award recipient Carle does double duty as the psychologist at Scioto Ridge and Freedom Trail elementary schools. But it wasn't just her hard work that earned her the Teacher of the Year award.

Everything you do is centered around what's best for kids," Melissa Horvath, a fifth-grade teacher at Scioto Ridge who nominated Carle for the award, said during convocation. "You definitely have earned the respect of your colleagues for your high levels of integrity. You're a great friend and we love working with you so much."

Carle, who has been a psychologist in the district for five years, co-facilitates the schools' intervention and assistance team process. She was nominated at Scioto Ridge by intervention specialist Kristen Thoennes.

"The things that I keep at the forefront of my job are the relationships that I have with not just students, but with parents and teachers," Carle said, "knowing that I'm working with their kids who are their love and pride and joy."