CLEVELAND, OH — Each year, The Parma Education Association honors three Parma City School District employees, naming them as Educator of the Year, Special Educator of the Year and Helping Hand Award winners.
This year, the Educator of the Year goes to Sara Good, a fifth-grade STEM Teacher at Greenbriar Middle School. She has been an educator with the district since 2005, and has been teaching math for the past five years in Greenbriar Middle School.
“I feel blessed and humbled to be given this honor by my peers, I get to work and grow with talented colleagues, who all teach me something that makes me a better educator. It is with their contributions to the profession that I share this recognition,” Good expressed.
Good stated that one of her favorite parts of teaching is learning something new every day and how her students always impress her. Especially this year, due to the pandemic, Good has to adapt to the current situation and keep her students positive. She then adds that this year is a “renewed appreciation for the profession.”
The Special Educator of the Year is Jessica Smalheer. She is an intervention specialist for kindergarten and first-grade at Pleasant Valley Elementary School. She has been working with the district for eight years now.
Smalheer has a passion for teaching and over the past 20 years of teaching, this year was the most challenging. But with that, she believes that everyone has grown and thrived.
Smalheer said, “My goal is to have a positive impact on all my students and their families while teaching them strategies to be successful, I try to make learning fun to keep the children interested and excited and I am always researching new ideas to achieve this.”
The Helping Hand Award Winner is Elizabeth Wilson, Special Education Assistant for kindergarten and first-grade at Pleasant Valley Elementary School. She has been with the district for eight years and her favorite part of the job is making connections with her students and watching them grow.
“To see the excitement in their faces when they accomplish something is pretty amazing. My favorite part of this year is when we returned to school in person. It was so awesome to see how excited and eager the kids were to be there,” said Wilson.
In the future, she wants to continue to learn and grow as an educator.