NAME – Brittany O’Hara
SCHOOL – Clarendon Intermediate School, Canton City Schools
RESIDENCE – New Philadelphia
HIGH SCHOOL ALMA MATER – New Philadelphia High School
COLLEGE – Kent State University.
FAMILY – My husband’s name is Derek, and he is also an educator. We have three young daughters, Charlotte, 6, Emilia, 4, and Ruby, 2.
WHAT SUBJECTS DO YOU TEACH? – Fourth-, fifth- and sixth-grade visual art.
WHAT IS THE BEST PART OF YOUR JOB? – Celebrating big and small accomplishments throughout the day and school year with my students. Building relationships and creating a sense of community in the art room. Everyone gets the opportunity to be heard, we share stories about everyday life. I love that in the art room there are multiple answers to problems and I can encourage experimentation with art techniques and processes.
WHAT IS THE MOST CHALLENGING PART OF YOUR JOB? – It is a fun challenge to create lesson plans that offer students choice in their art making experiences.
WHAT SECRET TO SUCCESS WOULD YOU SHARE WITH STUDENTS? – I tell my students every day, “if you work hard and you do your best, you can do anything!”
IS TEACHING KIDS THE SAME TODAY AS WHEN YOU FIRST STARTED? – With all the available technology today, there are a ton of good resources and programs available to use in the art room to assist in the creative process.
YOUR STUDENTS WOULD BE SURPRISED TO KNOW THAT YOU – Love watching and attending any live Cleveland sport!
WHAT IS YOUR HIDDEN TALENT? – Baking the best chocolate chip cookies!
IF YOU WEREN’T A TEACHER, YOU’D BE – In my second life, I would be an interior designer. I love all things design and designing spaces.
AFTER A LONG DAY AT WORK, WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO RELAX? – Getting a good workout in, going on a family walk in our neighborhood, or sitting on the back deck chatting with my husband in the evenings after the kids have gone to bed.
Matt Tafe, PE at Alliance Early Learning School – Matt is not only an incredibly patient teacher when helping students learn skills like catching a ball, doing a push up, or shooting a basketball, he also works with students who need extra intervention in reading during the first part of his day and has excelled at this part of his position. He makes learning fun and exciting, and every student waits all week to go to gym class with Mr. Tafe!
Christina Yoder, intervention specialist at Alliance Middle School – Mrs. Yoder is an expert at meeting all of the individual needs in her classroom. Her use of data to reinforce expected behaviors in the classroom is a model in our district.
CANTON CENTRAL CATHOLIC
David Vincente, math – David Vincente is one of several teachers serving the Crusader community that is also an alumnus of Central Catholic. Mr. Vincente teaches math and has become a favorite teacher among students as he makes fun. He is supportive of students and takes time to get to know them, serving as a class advisor, leading service projects, volunteering at school dances, and attending countless after school events. Mr. Vincente is a true Crusader!
Brittany O’Hara, art at Clarendon – From her principal, Mrs. Herberghs: Brittany has been blowing me away with her student-led learning and art projects. The creativity and in-depth food sculptures look professional!
Erin Ponn, instructional coach, McKinley High School – Erin’s creative thinking and extensive technical skills contribute daily to invaluable communication tools for both staff and students. Additionally, her effective mentoring strategies have helped promote growth for new staff members.
Marlo Ellsworth, intervention specialist – Mrs. Marlo Ellsworth is an intervention specialist who works with kindergarten and first-grade students who need extra support. Her room is full of learning tools so that students can feel successful as they apply new strategies. She shows love and kindness to all Wildcats!
Derek Faiello, seventh-grade science – Mr. Faiello is a teacher dedicated to his craft in the classroom and shaping students into successful young adults. Whether teaching in his science classroom, coaching, or leading student trips, Derek works hard to bring out the best in students.
Maggie Wohlford, intervention specialist – Her amazing creativity is clearly expressed in her lessons with her students and can be seen by stepping into her room. She is always willing to use her artistic skills to help her colleagues create visuals for their classrooms. Her dedication to meeting the individual needs of each of her students is commendable.
Brian Schultz, biology – I would like to recommend Mr. Schultz as a teacher of the month. I’ve been working with him on the 10th grade team for his entire career at FHS and have been proud to see him grow as an educator and a leader in his department. He is able to provide a great balance of rigor and relationships in his classroom. Over the years, he has grown to be an advocate and supporter of students on IEP’s/504’s. His class is very engaging, and he truly gets the best out of his students. He’s taken his time to offer advice about tech tools embedded in his online curriculum that would benefit our struggling learners. He is truly a life-long learner, always looking for ways to improve and reflect on his instruction.
Mollie Wright, intervention specialist – Mollie joined the staff at Jackson during the 2020-21 school year. She has been a wonderful addition to our school community. Mollie has an unwavering dedication to helping students see their potential both academically and socially. Her positivity and determination shine through on a daily basis.
LAKE CENTER CHRISTIAN
Mrs. Jane Harris, elementary – Jane works hard to provide engaging lessons and opportunities for students. She has created an environment that encourages and promotes peer interaction and collaboration. Jane is an advocate for her students and provides consistent support for parents.
Katie Heade, junior high social studies – Katie is a life-long learner in the classroom. While teaching in her junior high social studies classroom, she sees where her students are socially, academically and emotionally but also sees their potential. She guides them to see themselves as who they truly are in order to help them take the next steps to go beyond what they thought was possible. Her instructional methods in the social studies classroom allow students the freedom to work in groups in order to develop the necessary interpersonal skills.
Lauren Shultz, kindergarten – Lauren is a first-year teacher who has made her classroom a home for all of her students. If you were to step into Lauren’s classroom, you would not even know she was a first-year teacher. Students love her because she is kind, loving, fun, and cares about them. She gets to know every student in her class as a whole person and is able to see exactly what each child brings to the community, and her whole teaching approach involves finding and using children’s unique strengths to help them overcome their struggles and develop a positive self-concept. Lauren has volunteered her time to help with our school wide literacy night, and is a part of the math committee. We are lucky to have had Lauren join our family here at Lake Primary!
Cristina Jones, Grades 7 and 8 technology – Cristina Jones has the opportunity to teach technology to every 7th and 8th grade student over the course of the school year, while also advising our Digital News Team as they produce periodic updates and newscasts for our youngest students. Mrs. Jones spends six periods each day presenting our students with the most current information and topics that will no doubt prove to be useful and relevant as they navigate through each of their classes. Our Lake students are well prepared with a wide range of skills as they enter high school, and have been introduced to the various courses and careers they might explore as a result of lessons they have learned from Mrs. Jones. We are fortunate to have such a dedicated and caring teacher providing the skills and foundation that will serve our students well throughout their high school, college, and future years.
Stacey Bell, Grade 4 math intervention specialist – Stacey Bell is our Repository Teacher of the Month. Mrs. Bell has a strong work ethic and passion for teaching. She moved into a new role this year as an Intervention Specialist and has done a phenomenal job! Stacey understands the importance of teamwork. Co-teaching within the classroom has been a natural process for her. Mrs. Bell loves and cares for her students each and every day. We are truly blessed to have Stacey Bell at LES!
Mrs. Abbey Frase, special education at the elementary level – Mrs. Frase goes above and beyond for our students at Lexington. She consistently works to meet the needs of the students by doing more than is asked of her. She is respected by her colleagues and she serves as a leader at Lexington Elementary School. We are proud of Mrs. Frase!
Gwen Wolf, orchestra – Mrs. Wolf teaches some of our youngest instrumental musicians and she never misses a beat with keeping them on task and engaged in their learning. With nothing but a smile on her face (even when the strings are a little screechy), she guides and directs them to show them the beauty of bringing all their sounds together.
Allison Kamyszek, science – Mrs. Kamyszek is a seventh-grade science teacher at North Canton Middle School. Her vibrant personality and engaging activities are the core to building relationships with her students. Mrs. Kamyszek’s knowledge of curriculum and ability to provide top-tier results is due to her passion for her work.
Jennifer Martinez, Title I – Dedication, compassion and joy are a few of the characteristics Mrs. Martinez consistently exhibits in her daily journey of serving as a Title I teacher at East Canton Elementary. In addition to using all available time working directly with students, Jennifer Martinez continually seeks to further her own education and growth to help her best serve her students, and she shares the knowledge and skills she gains with her colleagues. Mrs. Martinez is always smiling and she brings joy and energy to the halls of East Canton Elementary. Thank you, Mrs. Martinez! You are a blessing at East Canton Elementary School!
Amanda Rohr, Grade 3 – Amanda does an amazing job building strong connections with her students. Those connections help the students in her class make great academic gains each year.
Ashley Hamilton, Grade 2 – Mrs. Hamilton has a passion for teaching and her students. She is a dedicated member of the Middlebranch staff and a leader throughout Plain Local at the elementary level. She has a teaching style that brings out the best in every student in her class every day! We are thankful for the difference Mrs. Hamilton makes in the lives of her students.
Wendy Martens, drama – Mrs. Martens finds and cultivates talent in our young artists! She produces the middle school musical each year, nurturing the students to their greatest performance! Her ability to take a vision and make it come to life is a talent in itself! She believes in our students, helps them to find their gifts, and makes everyone a star for the event! We appreciate you for all you give, Mrs. Martens!
Alex Caley, Grade 1 – Morgan Michel, parent of first grader Blake Michel, nominated Mrs. Caley for the endless support she has given her son since he was diagnosed with cancer earlier this year. Mrs. Caley had a bear made for Blake that when he presses the hand the entire class shouts, “We Love You, Blake!” Mrs. Caley often gives up her lunch, planning and evenings to connect with Blake. It is these small gestures and the love she has given that helps this family make it through this difficult time. Mrs. Caley is a guardian angel for Blake, and they will never forget her kindness.
Christie Kuykendall, middle school intervention specialist – Mrs. Christie Kuykendall is a dynamic intervention specialist who is constantly working with her students to help them achieve their individual goals. She believes in high expectations and, in conjunction with frequent communication with families, creates positive learning outcomes.
ST. THOMAS AQUINAS
Josh Evans, language arts teacher at St. Thomas Aquinas – Josh Evans serves both middle school and high school classes. He is committed to the Aquinas community, serving as an Academic Challenge advisor, helping with the Genius Project, volunteering his time for community events such as dances, open houses and various committee needs. There are few school events that Mr. Evans would not attend; he is a teacher who gives his all to his profession, which is easy to see by the relationship he has created with students and staff alike.
STARK COUNTY CATHOLIC ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS
Connie Carbone, elementary – Mrs. Carbone is currently in her 32nd year here at St. Barbara School. She has certainly experienced many changes throughout her time here. Mrs. Carbone has taught every subject and all grades except 2nd grade at our school. Her favorite thing to teach is religion and about the sacraments. Mrs. Carbone is such a caring individual, and she is always willing to help whenever needed. Our students enjoy being in her class and having her as our librarian this year as well. One of her favorite things about St. Barbara School is that it is one big family and I know that she has played a significant role in making it that way over the years. We are so happy to have Mrs. Carbone on our staff and enjoy the memories and stories she shares with us about the school’s past.
Susan Pike, physical education – Mrs. Pike goes above and beyond with building positive relationships with the students, staff and community members of Tuslaw. She comes to work every day with a positive, caring and helpful nature and she is committed to teaching her students the importance of being physically active in their lives now and in the future. Tuslaw has been very fortunate to have such a dedicated educator in our school system.