Tag Archives: Klem Road South

At the final bell, a shout-out for some great teachers

20 Jun

I think you’ll agree with me that our teachers are superheroes.

I mean, recall that a year ago March, on a week’s notice, they were asked to finish up the year by going completely online. Then came this school year, and they’ve had to juggle Covid restrictions, remote lessons, and half days or half weeks, all while doing their best to deliver as much learning and critical socialization as possible. And despite all those challenges, they’ve persevered and done an amazing job.

There’s been so much noise and bluster on social media recently about how our teachers have been sliding by. But most of us know the truth. Webster teachers are the best. So I wanted to counter all that noise with some of our own making. That’s why I asked parents to send me stories about some great teachers who have touched their childrens’ lives.

I’m pleased to present the first installment of that list today, and will post a second tomorrow. Feel free to continue to send me your stories (with a photo of the teacher if possible) and I’ll add them to the list!

(By the way, these passages have been edited only slightly for punctuation and grammar. The sentiments are otherwise unfiltered, and straight from the heart.)


Remote teaching excellence

Due to remote learning, I was able to see firsthand how awesome the Klem North music and band teachers are. 

Tiffany Polino has more passion and more energy than any teacher I’ve ever known. Her music classes are engaging, encouraging, and full of student participation. She states her CARE expectations in positive ways, always with a smile on her face. During one fifth grade session she asked the kids to name some topics they were interested in exploring. My son mentioned he was interested in learning how to play the guitar. So, Tiffany dedicated one session a week to the small “guitar cohort.” I was amazed she was willing to put aside her original plans to tailor lessons to student interest. 

Diana Mee eats, breathes, and sleeps her love of band instruments. She makes amazing assignments that go above and beyond the normal “practice your instrument for 20 minutes a day.” She also assigned songs based on student interest. My son learned how to play Disney songs for his little sister and Taps to commemorate Memorial Day.

Diana encourages students to email her with questions and responds to the emails right away. She always speaks positively and sought ways to engage her band students even though they could not play together in person during remote learning. 

Both of these teachers are doing an amazing job at promoting a love of the arts in Webster. 

— Courtney King

A heartfelt mid-year welcome

Barbara Sykut is my twins’ third grade teacher at Plank South! We bought a house here in November and they joined her class in the midst of the year. She was so happy to have them and has been absolutely amazing! She is retiring after this year and we feel so lucky to have had her before she leaves.

Thanks for everything Ms. Sykut!

— Skylar Bethany

Making kids the priority

I have a son who attends fifth grade at State Rd. During the pandemic he was remote. When Webster announced schools would be opening we got word he may have to attend a different school. My son Richy was scared and wanted to stay remote if that was to happen. The principal (Christine Noeth-Abele) said she was trying to get all the kids back and would do her best. She’s awesome.

Then I found out that a teacher was coming back from retirement just to help out. Mrs. Feeley. She is amazing. She came back just for the kids and to make sure they were able to attend their home school. I am so grateful and so is Richy. She has been awesome making sure they get what they need and making sure the extra things they were missing being remote were taken care of. She makes snacks for the kids and is always kind and Richy tells me he wished he had her since day one.

That’s a great teacher to come back from retirement to just help out the kids.

— Nikki Johnson

One classroom, two great teachers

My son Tanner is in kindergarten at Schlegel in Miss Eckert’s class.

Miss Eckert

Miss Eckert and Miss Goodness, the TA, have been absolutely amazing.Tanner has had a hard time adjusting to school and has had a really hard time managing his emotions and understanding what is appropriate at school. Both of these incredible women have gone above and beyond to help Tanner and make his kindergarten experience positive.

All school year, Miss Eckert and Miss Goodness supported Tanner in his journey and tried many different things to help with his behaviors. It takes a very strong, companionate, determined, and patient person to work with these small children and help them learn new routines and manage emotions and just show them how to feel good about themselves and the people around them. We were so lucky to have two of those people this year. They never gave up on Tanner and I am so grateful for them.

— Caira Kinnear

Providing stability during a difficult year

I would like to recognize Brianne Cipura at Klem North who chose to teach a grade level she never taught before in order to loop to first grade with her kindergarteners. By volunteering to stay with these kids, she gave parents peace of mind entering this bizarre school year. Regardless of what choices administration made, we knew her class would be a welcoming and safe place for our kids.

My family is very grateful for her.

— Kelly Prato

Over and above during shutdown

My daughter Gabriella wants to send a shout out to her fourth grade teacher from last year (at Klem South).

Elizabeth Karlof Coene was able to build and sustain relationships with her students that transcended the COVID-19 school closure, and certainly went above and beyond to ensure that my daughter felt that connection before, during, and after the shutdown. She is a treasure!

(The photo is Mrs. Coene with Gabriella at the beginning of fourth grade.)

— JoAnna Joy

Finally, this submission from a student

Mrs. Dupont is the best teacher. She lives near me and she plays with us at school. I like seeing her at soccer. I like that she teaches me everything.

-Raelyn (plank north kindergartener)


Part 2 of my teacher shout-out series will be posted tomorrow. Please continue to send me your submissions (with pictures if possible), and I will keep posting them as long as I get them!

Email me at missyblog@gmail.com

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WCSD community comes together to support State Road Elementary

14 Apr

Even in the most difficult of situations, a ray of light often shines through.

I’ve seen that occur repeatedly in Webster. When bad things happen and threaten to overwhelm our friends and neighbors with negativity, we come together as a community to support each other and bring a bit of sunshine to a dismal situation.

An excellent example happened recently when a disturbing incident took place at State Road Elementary School. The details of that event don’t need to be rehashed here, but I would like to bring attention to what happened afterwards.

Realizing that their colleagues were going through a tough time, teachers and staff members at Klem Road South and Plank Road North elementary schools decided to show State Road some love.

On Tuesday April 4, Klem South provided cookies and milk for their State Road colleagues — the ultimate “I love you” snack.

The previous day, Plank North went all out, setting up an entire breakfast buffet in the staff’s lunchroom, including bagels, muffins, yogurt and crock pots filled with oatmeal. Inspirational and humorous quotes sprinkled throughout the room reaffirmed the message of love and support.

The thank-you messages which came flowing into Plank North later that day showed how much State Road appreciated the effort. Here are a few of them:

Just wanted to say “thank you” to our PN friends for treating us with breakfast on Monday! It’s been a tough month, but it has also been awesome to see our One Webster comes together to support each other! — Keary Pender

I am so honored to be part of both of these amazing schools. Thank you Plank North family for supporting my other State Road family! I have already heard from many people over there about how much they appreciated the thought and kindness!! — Lindsay MacKenzie

Your school is so thoughtful! The breakfast & inspirational quotes are wonderful & beautiful. Thank you so much for your generous hearts! — Stephanie Jones

No words can express the gratitude I, and many others, have towards all of you. The spread was amazingly delicious but the posters and sayings were all so appropriate and really hit the mark on how we are feeling. Everything really touched our hearts. We are a community, you celebrate together and grieve together. I am grateful to be part of Webster. — AnnMarie Johansson

State Road principal Christine Noeth-Abele said the support did not stop there.

Our parent community and the PTSA (have) been providing us with love and food (cookie trays, fruit, breakfast, kind words, inspirational posters and flowers). We have had an incredible amount of support from everyone, including district office and our superintendent.

The kindness, compassion and support of the Webster community will never cease to amaze me. We can’t make unfortunate and uncomfortable situations go away but we can help each other through.

I am fortunate to work in such a caring and supportive environment. State Road is truly a family.

THIS is the wonderful school district in which I work, and the wonderful people with whom I spend my days. These are the people who teach and care for your children all day long.

We could not ask for a more caring school community.

* * *

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