Kellie Ehlers has been selected as the District 6 Teacher of the Year for 2015. District 6 includes 36 school districts in central Ohio. Each school district may nominate three teachers.
Ehlers enters a competition among the 11 district winners in the state to be the 2015 Ohio Teacher of the Year, to be decided by this fall.
The competition is sponsored annually by the Ohio Department of Education. Worthington's last Ohio Teacher of the Year was Tim Dove, who won the honor in 2011. He was a social studies teacher at Phoenix Middle School.
This is the second time since 2011 that Ehlers has been a finalist.
She is a 27-year veteran educator who teaches Reading Recovery at Evening Street Elementary School. She also teaches small-group reading and writing intervention, models instruction, teaches in classrooms and collaborates with and coaches other teachers.
"My Reading Recovery training has given me an exceptional opportunity to learn, grow and meet many diverse needs," Ehlers said.
In addition to her teaching responsibilities, Ehlers is an intervention-assistance team member and provides literacy professional development for teachers in her school and district.
At the district level, she serves as a primary English language-arts curriculum liaison and helps to develop documents for classroom teachers.
At the state level, Ehlers is a trained and credentialed evaluator under the Ohio Teacher Evaluation System model (OTES).
"She mentors other teachers to help them understand and effectively utilize the OTES model for their professional growth," said Mary Rykowski, principal of Evening Street Elementary School.
At the national level, Ehlers serves on the Reading Recovery board of directors.
In 2009, Ehlers received the Gary Smith Compassionate Teacher Award from Worthington City Schools after she designed ProPELL to help volunteers assist English Language Learners and collaborated with district coach, Kelly Wegley, at Thomas Worthington High School to make it a reality.
The idea evolved into a schoolwide, targeted reading intervention lab. She also collaborated to create a learning lab at Sutter Park Elementary School that includes a one-way mirror for student observation and professional development.